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Brain. 1992 Jun;115 ( Pt 3):771-82.

Epileptic seizures in an Andean region of Ecuador. Incidence and prevalence and regional variation.

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  • 1Community Management of Epilepsy Project, Quito, Ecuador.


A large-scale neuro-epidemiological study was carried out in a population of 72,121 inhabitants of a region of Northern Ecuadorian Andean Sierra, to identify prevalence and incidence rates of epileptic seizures and to identify demographic and geographic variations in these rates. Calculations were made using three datasets. First, rates were calculated from all cases identified in the field (raw dataset); secondly, lower rates were calculated based on a further diagnostic and reclassification procedure (minimum estimated dataset); thirdly, higher rates were derived by calculating false negative rates from the screening procedures, and adding these to the cases actually identified (maximum estimated dataset). Lifetime point-prevalence rates between 12.2/1000 and 19.5/1000 were recorded (minimum and maximum estimated rates), and the prevalence of active epileptic seizures was between 6.7/1000 and 8.0/1000 (minimum estimated and raw datasets). Incidence rate ranging between 122/100,000/year and 190/100,000/year were found (minimum, estimated and raw datasets). A marked difference in prevalence rates was found in two subregions of the survey area, and also in urban and rural areas. The reasons for these differences were not identified.

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