ABSTRACT: To define the prevalence and risk factors for epilepsy in children in a rural district of Tanzania by conducting a community-based case-control study.
Children aged 6-14 years with active epilepsy (at least two unprovoked seizures in the last 5 years) were identified in a cross-sectional survey in Tanzania. Cases were compared with age-matched controls.
Overall 112 children with epilepsy (CWE) were identified; the unadjusted prevalence of epilepsy was 2.91 per 1,000 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.4-3.5). The main seizure types were focal motor with secondary generalization in 73 (65.2%) of 112 and generalized convulsive seizures in 19 (16.9%) of 112. Adverse perinatal events were present in 16 (14%) of 112 cases but in no controls. In multivariate analysis, epilepsy was associated with number of parents who were resident at home (odds ratio [OR] 6.2 for none vs. both resident, 95% CI 1.5-25.5), history of adverse perinatal events (OR 14.9, 95% CI 1.4-151.3), family history of afebrile seizures (OR 5.7, 95% CI 1.0-27.5), and poor scholastic attainment (OR 8.6, 95% CI 4.0-18.4). Electroencephalography (EEG) and computed tomography (CT) scans were abnormal in 44 (44%) of 101 and 26 (29%) of 90 cases, respectively. Overall, 98 (88%) of 112 cases had focal features on assessment.
In this study from sub-Saharan Africa, CWE predominantly had focal features that support the suggestion that most epilepsy in this region has a symptomatic etiology. Adverse perinatal events were strongly associated with epilepsy. Genetic and social factors may also be important. Epilepsy may be preventable in a significant proportion of children with better antenatal and perinatal care.
Epilepsia 02/2012; 53(4):752-60. · 3.96 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to define the prevalence of and risk factors for behavioural disorders in children with epilepsy from a rural district of Tanzania by conducting a community-based case-control study.
One hundred and twelve children aged 6 to 14 years (55 males, 57 females; median age 12 y) with active epilepsy (at least two unprovoked seizures in the last 5 y) were identified in a cross-sectional survey and included in this study. Children who were younger than 6 years were excluded in order to eliminate febrile seizures. Behaviour was assessed using the Rutter scale; children who scored 13 or more were considered to have disordered behaviour. A comparison group was made up of age- and sex-matched children without epilepsy (n = 113; 57 males, 56 females; median age 12 y).
Behavioural disorders were diagnosed in 68 of 103 (66%) children with epilepsy and in 19 of 99 (19%) controls. Disordered behaviour was significantly more common in children with epilepsy than in the comparison group (univariate odds ratio 8.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.3-15.6; p < 0.001) and frequent seizures and poor scholastic attainment were associated in children with epilepsy. Behavioural disorders were not associated with antiepileptic drug usage. Attention problems were present in 48 of 91 (53%) children with epilepsy and 16 of 97 (17%) controls (univariate odds ratio 5.7; 95% CI 2.9-11.1; p < 0.001). In children with epilepsy, attention problems were significantly more common in males and were associated with frequent seizures.
Children with epilepsy in a rural area of sub-Saharan Africa have a high prevalence of behavioural disorders and attention problems, both of which are associated with frequent seizures. Providing behaviour assessment and appropriate intervention programmes for children with epilepsy may reduce the burden of behaviour disorders in this setting.
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 12/2011; 53(12):1135-42. · 2.92 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To define the prevalence and associations of co-morbidity and school attendance in older children with epilepsy (CWE) from a rural district of Tanzania by conducting a community-based case-control study.
Children aged 6-14 years old with active epilepsy (at least two unprovoked seizures in the last five years) were identified in a cross-sectional survey in Tanzania. Co-morbidities were assessed and cases were compared with age-matched controls.
Co-morbidity was very common amongst cases (95/112, 85%), with 62/112 (55%) having multiple co-morbidities. Co-morbidities consisted of cognitive impairment (72/112, 64%), behaviour disorder 68/112 (61%), motor difficulties 29/112 (26%), burns and other previous injuries (29/112, 26%). These complications were significantly more common in cases than in controls (odds ratio 14.8, 95%CI 7.6-28.6, p<0.001). Co-morbidity in CWE was associated with structural cause, abnormal electroencephalogram and early onset seizures. Cognitive impairment was very common in CWE (64%) and was not associated with Phenobarbital use but was associated with motor difficulties, early onset and recurrent seizures. Poor school attendance was found in 56/112 (50%) of CWE, but not in the controls: it was associated with the presence of multiple co-morbidities, especially with motor difficulties in CWE.
Children with epilepsy in a rural area of sub-Saharan Africa had a high level of co-morbidity. Cognitive impairment and poor school attendance were very common. These associated difficulties in CWE in the region need to be addressed to reduce the negative impact of epilepsy on these children.
Seizure 11/2011; 21(3):169-74. · 1.80 Impact Factor