Association between serum selenium levels and febrile seizures in Indian children: a case control study

Sadia Syeda Khadria, Jaidev M. D., Vidya K.


Background: Febrile seizures are the most common form of childhood seizures. Children are at particular risk for selenium deficiency. There was various hypothesis about the co-relation between selenium levels and febrile seizures. The aim of the present study was to determine whether there were any changes in serum selenium levels in children with febrile seizures when compared to children with febrile illness without seizures.

Methods: This was a hospital based prospective case control study, consisting of 40 children (20 cases and 20 controls) aged between 6 months to 60 months. The serum selenium level was measured in each of them by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Data was analysed by using frequency percentage and pearson’s chi square test.

Results: Out of the 40 children included in the study, serum selenium level was lower in febrile seizure group (80%) when compared to controls (20%) which was statistically significant (P value: 0.003). Also, there was no statistically significant difference between males and females.

Conclusions: In the present study, we found significantly low serum selenium levels in children with febrile seizures as compared to the children with febrile illness with no seizures. Decreased levels of selenium in children with febrile seizures may be the result of oxidative damage, occurring in the neuronal cells. In our study, a significant co-relation between low levels of selenium and febrile seizures have been observed in children. However, since the numbers are small, further studies with larger sample size are recommended.


Febrile, Seizures, Selenium deficiency, Selenium

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