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Keywords:

  • cross-sectional study;
  • cysticercosis;
  • epidemiology;
  • epilepsy;
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Purpose

To estimate the association between the prevalence of epilepsy and potential risk factors in three Burkina Faso villages.

Methods

Three villages were selected based on local reports of high numbers of epilepsy cases and pig-rearing practices. One person aged 7 or older was selected at random from all households of selected concessions for epilepsy screening and blood sampling. Epilepsy was confirmed by a physician using the ILAE definition. The cross-sectional associations between epilepsy and selected factors and seroresponse to the antigens of Taenia solium were estimated using a Bayesian hierarchical logistic regression. Prevalence odds ratios (POR) and their 95% Bayesian Credible Intervals (95% BCI) were estimated.

Results

Of 888 individuals interviewed, 39 of 70 screened positive were confirmed to have epilepsy for a lifetime prevalence of 4.5% (95% CI: 3.3; 6.0). The prevalence of epilepsy was associated with a positive reaction to cysticercosis Ag-ELISA serology (POR = 3.1, 95% BCI = 1.0; 8.3), past pork consumption (POR = 9.7, 95% BCI = 2.5; 37.9), and being salaried or a trader compared to a farmer or housewife (POR = 2.9, 95% BCI = 1.2; 6.4).

Discussion

Several factors were associated with prevalent epilepsy, with Ag-ELISA suggesting the presence of neurocysticercosis. The association between epilepsy and some occupations may reflect differences in local attitudes toward epilepsy and should be further explored.