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BMJ. 1998 Jan 31;316(7128):339-42.

Epilepsy in young people: 23 year follow up of the British national child development study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the incidence and prevalence of epilepsy during childhood and early adult life in England, Scotland, and Wales.

DESIGN:

Prospective study of 17,414 children born in England, Scotland, and Wales between 3 and 9 March 1958, followed up at 7, 11, 16, and 23 years of age, with a review of those with epilepsy at age 28.

SUBJECTS:

People with epilepsy developing at or before age 23.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The age specific incidence, cumulative incidence, and prevalence of epilepsy.

RESULTS:

124 young people had a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy during their first 23 years (cumulative incidence 8.4 per 1000; 95% confidence interval 6.8 to 10.0). 6 had died by age 23.46 (37%) had neurological impairment or another major health problem in addition to epilepsy. The prevalence of active epilepsy at age 23 was 6.3 per 1000 (4.9 to 7.7).

CONCLUSIONS:

A wide variety of seizure disorders is included under the term epilepsy. A third of cases had generalised seizures. In only a quarter was the onset of seizures attributed to a specific cause. Children with additional health problems were more likely to continue to have seizures in early adult life than those with epilepsy alone. 1 in 8 were prescribed drug treatment for 6 years or more after their last seizure. All deaths occurred in young adults over the age of 16.

PMID:
9487166
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2665562
Free PMC Article
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