Frequently Asked Questions On Epilepsy
Q: How common is epilepsy in the general population?
A: It is estimated that the overall “incidence” of epilepsy (number of new cases observed over a fixed period of time) lies between 20 - 50 cases per year per 100,000 persons in a general population. The usual “prevalence” rate (number of persons with epilepsy during a specified time) is 500-1000 cases per 100,000 persons in the population. Going by these statistics, there will be about 2,600 – 6,500 new cases of epilepsy every year in Delhi and New Delhi alone (estimated population of 1.3 crores) and 200,000 to 500,000 new cases in the whole of India (estimated population about 100 crores). Similarly at the present time there may be approximately 65,000-130,000 persons with epilepsy in Delhi/New Delhi and about 50-100 lakhs in whole of India respectively.
The following practical points need to be remembered:
- One in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their lives.
- One in 100-200 people in a general population has epilepsy at any given time.
- About 50–70% patients will develop epilepsy (have their first seizure) before the age of 18 years.
EPILEPSY IS CLEARLY, THEREFORE, A MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM.
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