33. Mortality in Epilepsy

  1. John W. Miller MD, PhD Director, UW Regional Epilepsy Center, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery2 and
  2. Howard P. Goodkin MD, PhD The Shure Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Director, Division of Pediatric Neurology3
  1. Elizabeth J. Donner

Published Online: 10 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch33



How to Cite

Donner, E. J. (2014) Mortality in Epilepsy, in Epilepsy (eds J. W. Miller and H. P. Goodkin), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch33

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Author Information

  1. Division of Neurology, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 14 FEB 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118456941

Online ISBN: 9781118456989



  • epilepsy;
  • mortality;
  • seizures;
  • sudden unexpected death in epilepsy;
  • children;
  • adults


People with epilepsy have a two to three times increased risk of premature death. Death may occur as the result of the underlying cause of the epilepsy, as a direct result of a seizure, or suddenly and unexpectedly. Symptomatic epilepsy, uncontrolled epilepsy, and poor adherence to antiepileptic drug therapy are important risk factors for early death in this population. This chapter reviews risk factors and causes of mortality in epilepsy.