• epidemiology;
  • epilepsy;
  • incidence;
  • adults;
  • Eastern Europe;
  • Estonia;
  • guidelines

Purpose – To estimate the main incidence-related characteristics of epilepsy in an adult population in Estonia. Epidemiologic data about epilepsy from central and eastern Europe is controversial.

Methods – All existing databases and lists in the area were reviewed to identify all persons with newly diagnosed epilepsy aged ≥20 years during 3 years. Special attention was paid to extensive adoption of definitions and criteria proposed by Guidelines for epidemiologic studies.

Results – Crude and age-adjusted incidence rates were 35 per 100,000 person-years. The age-specific rates tended to increase with advancing age. Of the seizure types, partial seizures had highest rates, 27 per 100,000. The largest syndromic categories were localization-related epilepsies. Risk factors for epilepsy were identified in 55.5% cases.

Conclusions – Incidence-related characteristics in the adult population of Tartu was comparable with those reported from the developed countries. The predominance of localization-related syndromes and partial seizures is the result of age distribution of the study.