Prevalence and risk factors for Active Convulsive Epilepsy in Kintampo, Ghana
Introduction: epilepsy is common in sub-Saharan Africa, but there is little data in West Africa, to develop public health measures for epilepsy in this region.
Methods: we conducted a three-stage cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence and risk factors for active convulsive epilepsy (ACE), and estimated the treatment gap in Kintampo situated in the middle of Ghana.
Results: 249 people with ACE were identified in a study population of 113,796 individuals. After adjusting for attrition and the sensitivity of the screening method, the prevalence of ACE was 10.1/1000 (95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) 9.5-10.7). In children aged <18 years, risk factors for ACE were: family history of seizures (OR=3.31; 95%CI: 1.83-5.96), abnormal delivery (OR=2.99; 95%CI: 1.07-8.34), problems after birth (OR=3.51; 95%CI: 1.02-12.06), and exposure to Onchocerca volvulus (OR=2.32; 95%CI: 1.12-4.78). In adults, a family history of seizures (OR=1.83; 95%CI: 1.05-3.20), never attended school (OR=11.68; 95%CI: 4.80-28.40), cassava consumption (OR=3.92; 95%CI: 1.14-13.54), pork consumption (OR=1.68; 95%CI: 1.09-2.58), history of snoring at least 3 nights per week (OR=3.40: 95%CI: 1.56-7.41), exposure to Toxoplasma gondii (OR=1.99; 95%CI: 1.15-3.45) and Onchocerca volvulus (OR=2.09: 95%CI: 1.29-3.40) were significant risk factors for the development of ACE. The self-reported treatment gap was 86.9% (95%CI: 83.5%-90.3%).
Conclusion: ACE is common within the middle belt of Ghana and could be reduced with improved obstetric care and prevention of parasite infestations such as Onchocerca volvulus and Toxoplasma gondii.