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Keywords:

  • Cambodia;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Prevalence

Summary

Purpose: To estimate the lifetime prevalence of epilepsy in Prey Veng province (Cambodia).

Methods: Door-to-door screening was performed using a random cluster survey whereby all people >1 year of age were screened for epilepsy by using a validated and standardized questionnaire for epilepsy in tropical countries. Suspected epilepsy patients identified by the questionnaire were revisited and examined by epileptologists. The confirmation of epilepsy was based on an in-depth clinical examination. Electroencephalograms were recorded at the community dispensary.

Key Findings: Five hundred three potential epilepsy cases were identified from 16,510 screened subjects, and 96 were diagnosed to have epilepsy. An overall prevalence of 5.8 per 1,000 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.6–7.0 per 1,000] was obtained. Generalized epilepsy (76%) was more common than partial epilepsy (12.5%). Three cases were of generalized myoclonic epilepsy (3.1%) and one case each (1.0%) were of absence and olfactory partial epilepsy. Six cases (5.2%) had more than one seizure type [one case with absence + generalized tonic–clonic (GTC), one case each with GTC + partial seizures with secondary generalization and absence + generalized myoclonic seizures and absence + simple partial seizures, and two cases with GTC + complex partial seizures]. Electroencephalography (EEG) studies revealed spike and wave discharges in 43.8%, focal spikes in 21.0%, generalized slow waves in 19.2%, and generalized slowing of background in 15.7%.

Significance: This is the first population-based study in Cambodia that had epilepsy as a primary objective, and compared to Western and neighboring countries it shows a lower prevalence.