Prevalence of adult epilepsy in Estonia.

Epilepsy research

PubMedID: 12536056

Oun A, Haldre S, Mägi M. Prevalence of adult epilepsy in Estonia. Epilepsy Res. 2003;52(3):233-42.
Epidemiological data about epilepsy from central and eastern Europe is scarce and results are controversial. The aim of this study was to estimate the main prevalence-related characteristics of active epilepsy in an adult population in Estonia. Review of all databases and lists related to epilepsy in Tartu supplemented by re-examination of patients to identify all persons with active epilepsy aged >/=20 years on January 1, 1997. Special attention was paid to the extensive adoption of definitions and criteria proposed by ILAE guidelines for epidemiologic studies. Both, crude and age-adjusted (to the 1970 US population) prevalence rates were 5.3 per 1000. The age-specific rates were constant in age groups 30-69 years and declined in the oldest age groups. Of the seizure types, partial seizures had highest rates, over half were secondarily generalized seizures. The largest syndromic categories were localization-related symptomatic and cryptogenic epilepsies. Risk factors for epilepsy were identified in 39.6% cases. Some 22% of all subjects did not take antiepileptic medication. Prevalence of active epilepsy and other prevalence-related characteristics in the adult population of Tartu was comparable to those reported from the developed countries. The predominance of localization-related syndromes and partial seizures is due to the age distribution of the study.