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Epilepsia. 2006 Dec;47(12):2032-7.

Assessing the disease burden due to epilepsy by disability adjusted life year in rural China.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Institute of Neurology, Fudan University, WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Neurosciences, Shanghai, China.



To demonstrate the application of Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) as an aid in health outcome measures to evaluate the epilepsy disease burden in rural China and to provide Chinese data to achieve a better understanding of disease burden due to epilepsy.


The DALY is the sum of the number of years of survival with disability (Years Lived with Disability, YLD) and the number of years lost because of premature mortality (Years of Life Lost, YLL). We calculated the YLD based on the prevalence survey of epilepsy among 66,393 people sampled in Heilongjiang, Henan, Jiangsu, Ningxia, Shanghai, and Shanxi provinces in 2000. The epilepsy mortality data from Chinese literature provided the YLL due to epilepsy. We applied sensitivity analysis to evaluate the influence of uncertainty on the epilepsy mortality value and disability weight in the study.


In 2000, epilepsy caused 1.83 and 2.48 DALY lost per 1,000 population in Henan and Ningxia province, which had the lowest and the highest DALY lost among the six study areas. Overall, epilepsy caused 1.41 YLLs and 0.67 YLDs per 1,000 population; thus the DALYs lost because of epilepsy was 2.08 per 1,000 population, representing the epilepsy disease burden in rural China.


The DALY measure, which includes the extent of disability from epilepsy, provides a useful tool for the epilepsy disease burden assessment. The disease burden of epilepsy in China is considered higher than previous estimations.

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