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Prevalence of epilepsy in a rural community of Guatemala

Prevalence of epilepsy in a rural community of Guatemala

Epilepsia 37(4): 373-376

We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological study to assess the prevalence and patterns of epilepsy in a small rural village of Guatemala (population 2,111); 1,882 subjects (97.3%) were surveyed. By administering the World Health Organization (WHO) standard questionnaire and performing neurological examinations, we detected 16 cases of epilepsy. The crude prevalence rate for this community was 8.5 in 1,000 general population. Eleven cases were further classified as active epilepsy, giving a prevalence rate of 5.8 in 1,000 general population for this form. The most common type of seizure was generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS, 50%), followed by complex partial seizures (CPS, 37.5%), simple partial seizures (SPS, 6.2%) and generalized atonic seizures (6.2%). The age-specific prevalence ratio was highest among the group aged 20-29 years, although the difference between that group and the other age groups was not statistically significant (z lt 2, p gt 0.05). Fourteen persons (87.5%) had sought medical care for their seizures at least once in their lifetime, 5 (31.25%) were receiving an antiepileptic drug (AED), and 9 (56.25%) had previously received treatment and 2 (12.5%) had never been treated for their illness. Phenobarbital was the most common AED prescribed; 7 persons had positive family history of epilepsy, 5 reported a history of significant head trauma, 4 had history of central nervous system disease, and 1 had a history of chronic alcohol intake.

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Accession: 009240441

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8603643

DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1996.tb00574.x

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