Iron deficiency and febrile seizures: a retrospective analysis

Bharat Gajare, Madhuri Engade, Anuj Khatri, Pooja Sharma


Background: Febrile seizures (FS) are the commonest cause of seizures in children, with 2-5% of neurologically healthy children experiencing at least 1 episode. Iron deficiency is reported to be one of the most prevalent nutritional problems in the world today, especially in developing countries, with an estimated 46%-66% people affected. Our study is an attempt to clarify the relation between iron deficiency and first febrile seizure.

Methods: The present study was a case control study carried from December 2016 till June 2018 in a tertiary care hospital at Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. The study was done after obtaining approval from Institutional ethical Committee.

Results: 77 cases and equal number of controls were included. Males were most commonly affected (>50%) as compared to females in both groups. Highest number of cases and controls were in the age group 0.5 to 1 year group, followed by 1-2 and 2-3 years group. Upper respiratory tract infection was most common etiological factor. Anemia (Hb<11 gm/dl) was seen in in 84% of the cases and 65% of the controls. Serum iron and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) was reduced in cases as compared to controls and this difference was highly statistically significant.

Conclusions: Iron deficiency is a modifiable risk factor for first episode of febrile seizures in Indian children of age group 6 months to 5 years its early detection and timely correction may be an important determinant for prevention of febrile seizure in children.


Anemia, Febrile seizures, Ferritin haemoglobin, Iron deficiency, TIBC

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