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A house-to-house survey of epileptic seizures in an urban community of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Estudo porta-a-porta sobre crises epilépticas em comunidade urbana do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

OBJECTIVE: To carry out a prevalence study about epileptic seizures and epilepsy in an urban low-income population. METHOD: Prevalence study in a two-phase model: screening and diagnosis confirmation. It was applied a structured questionnaire in 982 people all effectively resident on March 1rst 2000 based on a population census previously carried out by the Nurse Faculty. One neurologist interviewed all the suspected cases. RESULTS: It was detected 176 suspected cases of epileptic seizures: 156 with non-epileptic events, and 20 with epileptic seizures. The lifetime point prevalence was of 16.3 cases per 1000 inhabitants, and of active epilepsy, 5.1 / 1000. If we consider false negative diagnosis from the screening procedures, the lifetime point-prevalence rates until 20.8/1000. CONCLUSION: The prevalence data of epilepsy shows less impressive than in other Latin-American studies and even some Brazilian, but similar to other Brazilian studies. This suggests geographical diversity and/or methodological differences among studies. Anyway, probably the epilepsy prevalence in Rio de Janeiro is not so high as that found in the Latin countries rural areas.

epilepsy; prevalence; community study

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