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Epilepsy Res. 1998 May;30(3):247-51.

High incidence of epilepsy related to onchocerciasis in West Uganda.

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Division of Tropical Pediatrics, University Children's Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.


The incidence of epilepsy was assessed in an onchocerciasis endemic area in West Uganda over a period of 4 years. A high overall crude incidence rate of 215 per 100000 person-years was found (age-adjusted: 156 per 100000 person-years) and the incidence in zones of high onchocerciasis endemicity was significantly higher than in low endemic zones (age adjusted rates: 232 per 100000 person-years versus 77 per 100000 person-years; Yates corrected chi2: P < 0.01). The data constitute a baseline for an ongoing intervention study on the effects of onchocerciasis control on epilepsy incidence in the study area. If a causal relationship between onchocerciasis and epilepsy can be confirmed, this would have significant implications for the concept of morbidity due to onchocerciasis and for the prevention of epilepsy in the endemic areas.

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