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An estimate of the prevalence of epilepsy in Sub–Saharan Africa: A systematic analysis

Paul, Abigai and Adeloye, Davies and George-Carey, Rhiannon and Kolcˇic, Ivana and Grant, Liz and Chan, Kit Yee (2012) An estimate of the prevalence of epilepsy in Sub–Saharan Africa: A systematic analysis. Journal of global health, 2 (2).

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Background Epilepsy is a leading serious neurological condition worldwide and has particularly significant physical, economic and social consequences in Sub–Saharan Africa. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of epilepsy prevalence in this region and how this varies by age and sex so as to inform understanding of the disease characteristics as well as the development of infrastructure, services and policies. Methods A parallel systematic search of Medline, Embase and Global Health returned 32 studies that satisfied pre–defined quality criteria. Relevant data was extracted, tabulated and analyzed. We modelled the available information and used the UN population figures for Africa to determine the age–specific and overall burden of epilepsy. Results Active epilepsy was estimated to affect 4.4 million people in Sub–Saharan Africa, whilst lifetime epilepsy was estimated to affect 5.4 million. The prevalence of active epilepsy peaks in the 20–29 age group at 11.5/1000 and again in the 40–49 age group at 8.2/1000. The lowest prevalence value of 3.1/1000 is seen in the 60+ age group. This binomial pattern is also seen in both men and women, with the second peak more pronounced in women at 14.6/1000. Conclusion The high prevalence of epilepsy, especially in young adults, has important consequences for both the workforce and community structures. An estimation of disease burden would be a beneficial outcome of further research, as would research into appropriate methods of improving health care for and tackling discrimination against people with epilepsy

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Mrs Patricia Nwokealisi
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2015 09:19
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2015 09:19

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