The role of ethnicity on pregnancy outcomes in women with epilepsy: The need for specific research

Nanya Hao, Janet Graham, Alison Hitchcock, Terence J. O'Brien, Frank J.E. Vajda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The role of ethnicity on pregnancy outcomes of women with epilepsy (WWE) has received little research attention but is important to guide management. The aim of this review is to identify and describe current knowledge of ethnicity for WWE giving birth. Literature searches were performed with the following terms: ethnic/race combined with epilepsy/seizure, antiepileptic drugs (AED), and/or pregnancy, and combined them with congenital malformation, birth outcome, or pregnancy complication, with English language restriction in PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science. Both primary studies and review articles were included. Ethnicity disparities exist in specific congenital malformations, pregnancy complications, and birth outcomes among the general population. There is also ethnicity-related diversity of AED disposition. Information on ethnicity is rarely considered in studies about pregnant WWE. The association between ethnicity and pregnancy outcomes of WWE remains to be elucidated. The lack of data relating to ethnicity in pregnancy studies among WWE needs addressing. Knowledge of potential effects of ethnicity on pregnancy outcomes in WWE will help inform better clinical care around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1131
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • AEDs disposition
  • Birth outcomes
  • Congenital malformations
  • Obstetric complications
  • Race

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