A new study has found that sleeping position is largely associated with the sudden death risk in people who are suffering from epilepsy.
According to the medical experts, sudden or unexpected death of people who suffers from epilepsy occurs when a healthy individual dies and the postmortem report does not show any certain cause of death.
Even if the aim of the latest study is not to find out the cause and effect relationship between sleeping posture and unexpected death in epileptic people, it has tried to establish the association between sleeping on prone or stomach position and the increased risk of sudden death in epileptic patients.
Dr. James Tao, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Chicago, led the recent study.
For the study, the researchers analysed 25 previous studies that involved 253 cases of unexpected deaths. In the study, the researchers recorded the body position of the people when they were found dead.
According to the researchers, 73 percent of the total death cases were found in the prone position. On the other hand, only 27 percent of death cases were found in other positions.
A subgroup of 88 individuals was also observed by the researchers. It was found that young people under the age of 40 years were at increased death risk when they sleep on stomach. The researchers found that nearly 86 percent of the total deaths in the prone position were among the people who were under the age of 40 years as compared to the 60 percent deaths among those who were over 40 years.
Dr. Tao said that his team was not able to determine why young people with epilepsy were at higher risk of unexpected deaths while sleeping on stomach.
“It may be that they are more likely to be single and not have anyone with them during a seizure while sleeping,” said Dr. Tao.
The researchers concluded that the study’s findings serve an important role as it underscores the importance of sleeping and its correct posture for epileptic people.