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Seizure. 2014 Nov;23(10):869-73. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2014.07.012. Epub 2014 Jul 25.

Epilepsy, comorbid conditions in Canadian children: analysis of cross-sectional data from cycle 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth.

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Epilepsy Program, London Health Sciences Centre & Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:
Richard Ivey Business School, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada N6A5C2.



The purpose of this study was to analyze national survey data to provide estimates of prevalence of epilepsy and associated developmental disabilities and comorbid conditions.


We analyzed data from Cycle 3 of Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. The NLSCY captured, socio-demographic information, as well as age, sex, education, ethnicity, household income, chronic health related conditions from birth to 15 years old. The main survey question intended to identify "epilepsy", "cerebral palsy", "intellectual disability", "learning disability", and "emotional and nervous difficulties" in the population of children surveyed. Prevalence was based on the national cross-sectional sample and used 1000 bootstrap weights to account for survey design factors.


Cycle 3 of the NLSCY had the largest number of patients with diagnosed epilepsy. Prevalence figures (n/1000) for epilepsy and cerebral palsy (EPI_CP), epilepsy and intellectual disability (EPI_ID), epilepsy and learning disability (EPI_LD), and epilepsy and emotional nervous difficulties (EPI_EMO_NERV) were 1.1, 1.17, 2.58 and 1.34 respectively. Amongst children with epilepsy, 43.17% reported the presence of one or more of the above comorbid conditions.


These results provide an initial prevalence estimate of comorbid conditions with epilepsy in Canadian children. In a high proportion of children with epilepsy, the PMK had reported at least one comorbid disorder. These findings carry implications for health care utilization and long-term outcomes. We discuss methodological aspects related to the ascertainment of epilepsy in both surveys, and to the validity and implications of our findings.


Cerebral palsy; Children; Comorbid; Epilepsy; Learning disability; Population studies

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