Sex differences in variables associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with epilepsy

Matthew T. Scharf, Patricia Greenberg, Stephen Wong, Ram Mani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is common in patients with epilepsy (PWE). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a self-reported measure of sleepiness in widespread use. The purpose of this study was to identify contributors to the ESS score in PWE and to identify variables associated with a high score indicative of EDS. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 115 PWE presenting to the epilepsy clinic. Self-reported questionnaires were administered and demographic and clinical information was gathered from the electronic medical record. Regression analyses were performed. Results: A high ESS score was found in nearly 20% of the cohort. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) risk, standardized anti-seizure drug (ASD) dose, and female sex were associated with an increased likelihood of a high ESS score. Assessment of the ESS without the use of a cutpoint showed that standardized ASD dose and OSA risk were associated with the ESS in men, but standardized ASD dose was not associated with the ESS in women. Higher use of valproic acid and oxcarbazepine in men and higher use of lamotrigine in women may be contributing factors. Significance: Sex is likely to be a key factor in determining contributors to EDS in PWE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109015
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Anti-seizure drug
  • Epilepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sex
  • Sleepiness


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