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Epilepsy Res. 2006 Oct;71(2-3):206-15. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Temporal changes in the incidence of epilepsy in Finland: nationwide study.

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Department of Public Health, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



To examine possible changes over time in the incidence of epilepsy in different age groups.


Based on the nationwide full-refundable antiepileptic drug register and population register, incidence of newly diagnosed epilepsy was measured by granted full-refundable antiepileptic drugs for epilepsy.


The incidence was throughout all age groups higher in men than in women. The incidence in the total population had significantly declined in 1986-2002, from 71.6/100,000 to 52.9/100,000. The incidence significantly decreased in children (0.77; 0.71-0.84, p<0.0001) and adults (0.83; 0.77-0.89, p<0.0001) but increased in the elderly (1.18; 1.10-1.26, p<0.0001). The increased incidence in the elderly over the time period was primarily seen in women.


The incidence of epilepsy has significantly declined in both children and adults with a concurrent increase in the incidence among the elderly. Further studies are needed to elucidate the precise cause of these temporal changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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