Frequency of Hypocalcemic Fits in Children Presenting with Afebrile Seizures and Risk Factors for Hypocalcemia â€“ A Descriptive Study
Background: Seizures are common in paediatric age group, occurring approximately in 10% of children. Hypocalcemia is one of the most common metabolic causes of afebrile seizures.
Objective: To determine the frequency of hypocal-cemic fits in children presenting with afebrile seizure, from 2 months to 2 years of age and to study the risk factors for hypocalcemia in these patients.
Study Design: Descriptive study.
Setting: Department of Paediatric Medicine Unit-I, Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
Duration: Six months (January to June 2007).
Sampling Technique: Non probability purposive sampling.Subjects and Methods: After consent, 60 cases of afebrile convulsions were registered for the study. Dif-ferent variables like age, sex, poor sun exposure, low birth weight, prematurity, milk feeding, weaning, nutritional status, maternal age, parity, child spacing and maternal anemia were recorded. Each child was investigated for serum calcium, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase and x-ray left wrist. Information was re-corded on a structured pretested proforma.
Results: Study population consisted of 60 children. Hypocalcemia was observed in 68.3% cases. Most common age group was < 6 months (51.2%). There was male predominance (56%). Common risk factors were poor sun exposure (68.3%), unfortified fresh milk feeding (63.4%), malnutrition (61%), low birth weight (54%), inadequate weaning (36.5%), and pre-maturity (17%) while maternal risk factors were multi-parity (73%), mother age < 30 years (70.7%), anemic mothers (63.4%), and < 2 year child spacing (51.2%).
Conclusion: Hypocalcemia is a common cause of afebrile fits in children. Poor sun exposure, low birth weight, prematurity, malnutrition, maternal anemia and multiparity are major risk factors for hypocal-cemia.
Key words: Hypocalcemia, Seizure, Convulsions, Risk Factors.
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