Epidemiology of active epilepsy in a suburban community in Southeast Nigeria: A door‑to‑door survey
Context: Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic conditions afflicting an estimated 65 million people the world over. Current community‑based data on the prevalence of active epilepsy in Africa are sparse.
Aims: This study was aimed at determining the prevalence and profile of active epilepsy in a suburban community in Southeast Nigeria.
Methods: It was a two phase cross‑sectional descriptive study. In the first phase, those with possible active epilepsy were identified in a door‑to‑door survey using a modification of the World Health Organization Neuroscience research protocol. In the second phase, cases of active epilepsy were identified and the clinical forms of epilepsy diagnosed based on the International League against Epilepsy guidelines 1993.
Results: A total of 6,800 persons was screened in the first phase of the study. There were 29 cases (16 males and 13 females) of active epilepsy. The point prevalence of active epilepsy was 4.3/1,000 (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 2.7‑5.9) for the total population, 4.9/1,000 (95% CI: 2.5‑7.3) for males and 3.7/1,000 (95% CI: 1.7‑5.7) for females. The age‑adjusted prevalence for the total population was 4.1/1,000 (US Population 2000). Classified using clinical criteria only, generalized seizures occurred in 62.1% (n = 18) while partial seizures occurred in 37.9% (n = 11) of cases.
Conclusions: The prevalence of active epilepsy in Southeast Nigeria is comparable to that found in developed and some developing countries but less than that reported in suburban Southwest Nigeria about three decades ago.
Keywords: Active epilepsy, prevalence, profile