Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
NUNES, Magda Lahorgue; GEIB, Lorena Teresinha Consalter and GRUPO APEGO. Incidence of epilepsy and seizure disorders in childhood and association with social determinants: a birth cohort study. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.1, pp. 50-56. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572011000100009.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence and prevalence of epilepsy and seizure disorders during childhood, and their relationship to selected social determinants. METHODS: Population-based birth cohort study, with children born between January 1st and December 31st, 2003 in the city of Passo Fundo (RS), Brazil. Data was prospectively collected in two stages. In the first one, the Questionnaire of Neurologic Tracking for Epilepsy (QNT-E) was applied at the children’s homes, together with the assessment of social determinants of health. Constructs of social position (economical class, mother’s educational level, marital status and occupation), biological and behavioral factors (alcohol and tobacco consumption during pregnancy, number of prenatal appointments, and use of medicines during pregnancy), and psychosocial factors (religious meetings attendance) were analyzed. In the second stage, children with a positive QNT-E were submitted to neuroclinical assessment for diagnostic confirmation. RESULTS: Eleven cases of epilepsy, 27 of febrile seizures, 10 of neonatal seizures, 8 of single seizures, besides 26 patients with non-epileptic paroxysmal events, were identified. The incidence rate of epilepsy was 7/100,000 children and the prevalence 65.2/10,000 children. Nine children had active epilepsy, giving a point prevalence of 53.3/10,000 children. After multivariate analysis, no social determinants could be significantly related to epilepsy. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, a low incidence rate of epilepsy was reported in contrast to almost a double incidence of febrile seizures and non-epileptic paroxysmal events. Moreover, the achievement of an accurate diagnosis of epilepsy in developing countries is still a challenge, in order to avoid misdiagnosis.
Keywords : Epilepsy; epileptic syndromes; incidence; prevalence; childhood.