Incidence of Childhood Epilepsy in Estonia

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Abstract

The aim of this prospective epidemiological study was to establish the incidence rate of childhood epilepsy in Estonia, to describe the clinical spectrum and to identify etiology of childhood epilepsy. The overall incidence rate was 86.3/100 000. The incidence rate was the highest (141.9/100 000) in the age group from 5 to 9 years. Specific electroclinical syndromes were identified in 22.8% of cases. Structural or metabolic etiology was identified in 20.0% of cases, presumed genetic origin was identified in 33.9% of cases, and in 46.1% of cases the cause of epilepsy remained unknown. The incidence rate of childhood epilepsy in Estonia (86.3/100 000) is similar to the other European countries. In comparison with the results of the first epidemiological study of childhood epilepsy in Estonia (incidence rate 45/100 000; Beilmann et al), the incidence rate in this study is almost 2 times higher, what can be explained with better case collection and improved diagnostic modalities in Estonia.

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