• Epilepsy;
  • Seizures;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Prevalence;
  • Turkey

Summary: Purpose: To learn the prevalence of epilepsy in Silivri, a western town of Turkey, a randomized door-to-door survey was conducted using a standard questionnaire. The method of the study was adopted from the suggestions of the World Health Organization (WHO) for prevalence studies in developing countries, and the criteria were derived from Guidelines for Epidemiologic. Studies on Epilepsy proposed by the Commission on Epidemiology and Prognosis, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) 1993.

Methods: From June I to October 1, 1994, 4,803 people out of a total population of 70,394 were surveyed. The questionnaire, which was administered by practitioners and intern doctors, consisted of 15 questions, with a sensitivity of 99.9% and a specificity of 76%. After the survey, neurologists examined all of the 415 people suspected of having epilepsy and classified the seizures of the active cases.

Results: Of the 415 suspected cases, 49 people (24 women, 25 men) were determined as having epilepsy on the assessment day of October 1. 1994. The crude point prevalence of active epilepsy was 10.2 of 1,000 for the region. The prevalence of active epilepsy among women was 10.01 of 1,000 and among men was 10.39 of 1,000. Of the 49 cases, 40.8% had generalized seizures, 53.1% had partial onset seizures, and 6.1% could not be classified. Only 7.7% of the cases with partial onset seizures were defined as probable symptomatic cases.

Conclusions: Onset of the disease peaked at the first decade of life. On the assessment day, 44.9% of those with epilepsy were receiving treatment, and 65.1% had visited religious figures at the onset or during the course of the disease, a figure that reveals the high prevalence of mystical beliefs about the disease in the study area.