Nutritional factors and anticonvulsant therapies: effect on growth in children with epilepsy.
Factors influencing growth before puberty were examined in a group of 32 epileptic children in a cross-sectional investigation. Participants in the study were divided into two groups according to what anticonvulsant drug, carbamazepine or valproic acid, they were currently taking. Dietary intakes of energy, iron, and zinc were assessed and hemoglobin and serum zinc concentrations were evaluated. Measurements of height and weight were compared with standard growth charts prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD. A Student's t test comparison was made along with analyses of covariance and stepwise regression, and no significant differences were found between the two groups of children in terms of height or weight. Linear growth was normal. We found that low dietary zinc intake, 64-87% of the recommended dietary allowance, was not associated with reduced height in children. In addition, neither the number of years taking anticonvulsant medication nor the total amount of drug intake had a significant effect on weight. This was an unanticipated result because valproic acid has been associated with weight gain because of increased appetite.
Kurowski, HL; Gospe, SM; Zeman, FJ; Grivetti, LE
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