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Seizure. 2014 May;23(5):333-7. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2014.01.007. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

Prevalence and treatment gap of active convulsive epilepsy: a large community-based survey in rural West China.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Wai Nan Guo Xue Lane 37#, Chengdu 610041, China.
  • 2Department of Neurology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Wai Nan Guo Xue Lane 37#, Chengdu 610041, China. Electronic address:
  • 3West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China.
  • 4Sichuan Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Sichuan, China.



Active convulsive epilepsy (ACE) impacts patients greatly, especially in low-income countries where patients do not receive appropriate treatment. In the present study, we measured the prevalence and treatment gap (TG) of ACE in rural West China.


Six rural areas in West China that have a total population of 3,541,319 were selected to conduct prevalence and TG estimates of ACE via a clue survey from 2007 to 2009. Clue survey here is a community-based screening strategy among defined population which requires employed well-trained local physicians//health workers to collect all clues available to discover/identify/recruit patients within a study period. Questionnaire-based interviews were used for the identification of ACE patients, and information was obtained during the survey. Prevalence and TG of ACE were calculated.


A total of 6547 patients with ACE were identified. The estimated prevalence of ACE was 1.8 per 1000 in the general population, with the prevalences in males and females determined to be 2.0 and 1.7, respectively (p<0.001). The TG in the general population was 66.3%, and it was 66.6% and 66.0% in males and females, respectively (p>0.05). The TG figures dropped with advancing age and increased above 30 years of age. Patients aged 60 years or older had the largest TG (77.8%); those with disease course less than 10 years showed a larger TG and those who experienced two to five seizures annually had a significantly larger TG (70.6%). Additionally, only 63.9% of the ACE patients included in the study were aware of the disease and had consulted a doctor.


There exists a large TG of ACE in West China rural areas. Majority of those ever consulted a doctor but failed to receive or adhere to an appropriate treatment program. Management including public education as well as training of local physicians were necessary to fill that gap.

Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Convulsive epilepsy; Prevalence; Rural community; Treatment gap

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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