A study of febrile seizures in children in relation to iron deficiency anemia


  • Gautam Shah Department of Pediatrics, SBKS MI and RC, Piparia, Vadodara, Gujrat, India
  • Ritesh Parmar Department of Pediatrics, SBKS MI and RC, Piparia, Vadodara, Gujrat, India




Febrile seizures, Haemoglobin, Iron deficiency


Background: Febrile seizures are the most common cause of convulsions in children between 6 months to 5 years, occurring in 2-5% of children. Iron deficiency is postulated as a risk factor for febrile seizures in children and it is an easily correctable condition. The objective of the study was to study the clinical profile and risk factors of febrile convulsions and to establish an association between febrile seizure and iron deficiency anemia.

Methods: The study was carried out in Department of Pediatrics, Dhiraj General Hospital, Piparia, a tertiary care teaching hospital. 34 cases and 34 controls were included in the study. Controls were children of same age group presenting with short febrile illness but without any seizures. Febrile seizures were defined according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) criteria. Iron deficiency was diagnosed by hematologic investigations of haemoglobin value < 11 g/dl, MCV <70 fL and RDW > 15.6%.

Results: Iron deficiency anemia was present in 23.52% (8/34) of cases as compared to 17.64% (6/34) in the control group. Odds ratio was 1.436 (95% CI 0.439-4.669, p value 0.549), which suggest there is no significant association of iron deficiency anemia with febrile convulsions. Subgroup analysis for association of iron deficiency anemia with simple febrile convulsion cases showed Odds ratio of 1.11 (95% CI 0.298-4.138), which suggests there is poor association of iron deficiency anemia with simple febrile convulsions. Subgroup analysis for association of iron deficiency anemia with complex febrile convulsion cases showed Odds ratio of 2.809 (95% CI 0.521-15.041), which suggests there is poor association of iron deficiency anemia with complex febrile convulsions. Wide confidence interval indicates less sample size. Study with large sample size is required for reliable interpretation.

Conclusions:The study reveals iron deficiency anemia is not a significant risk factor in children presenting with febrile seizures. Further study with large sample size is required. 


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