How Common is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition in the world after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease which can affect any person irrespective of age, sex, sexuality, religion, economic or geographical location
More than 65million people in the world have epilepsy and 80% of these people live in developing countries. (Epilepsy Action Australia, 2019) In the UK around 1% of people (Epilepsy Action, 2019) have epilepsy whereas in Kenya it is nearly double that at 1.8% of people. The prevalence of epilepsy is higher amongst those from a lower socio-economic background and amongst those from developing countries .” (Ministry of Health, Kenya National Guidelines for the Management of Epilepsy, 2016)
Epilepsy is more common in children (1 in 220) and 20% of those newly diagnosed are over the age of 65 but epilepsy can be diagnosed at any age
The number of those being diagnosed is increasing, due to :
- an increased awareness and understanding amongst the general population
- An increased awareness and understanding amongst medical professionals
- An increase in the human population.
Only about 52% of people are seizure free but up to 70% are likely to be should they get the right treatment. (UK: Epilepsy Action, 2019). 30% of people with epilepsy have refractory epilepsy which means that current treatments do and will not control their seizures. Those in remote areas or developing countries are less likely to have controlled seizures to a lack of access to medication.