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Possible Risk of Stomach Sleep for Epileptics

If you have epilepsy, sleeping on your stomach may increase the risk of sudden death, a new study suggests. Researchers reviewed 25 earlier studies about unexplained deaths among people with epilepsy. Such deaths are rare. The new study focused on 253 deaths with records that included the person's position when found. The people who died had been in good health. Autopsies could not find a clear cause of death. About 73% of them died while sleeping on their stomachs. That included 86% of those under 40 and 60% of those who were older. People with epilepsy have seizures related to a disruption in the brain's electrical activity. The study's author told HealthDay News that it's possible people who died had an airway obstruction and could not rouse themselves. This study was not designed to show whether sleeping chest-down actually causes sudden death.

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