To inform public health efforts to prevent epilepsy-related deaths, we used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER; Wonder.cdc.gov) to examine any-listed epilepsy deaths for the period 2005–2014 by age groups (≤ 24, 25–44, 45–64, 65–84, ≥ 85 years), sex, and race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native). Epilepsy deaths were defined by the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes G40.0–G40.9. The total number of deaths per year with epilepsy as any listed cause ranged from 1760 in 2005 to 2962 in 2014. Epilepsy was listed as the underlying cause of death for about 54% of all deaths with any mention of epilepsy in 2005 and for 43% of such deaths in 2014. Age-adjusted epilepsy mortality rates (as any-listed cause of death) per 100,000 significantly increased from 0.58 in 2005 to 0.85 in 2014 (47% increase). In 2014, deaths among the non-Hispanic Black population (1.42 deaths per 100,000) were higher than among non-Hispanic White (0.86 deaths per 100,000) and Hispanic populations (0.70 deaths per 100,000). Males had a higher mortality rate than females (1.01 per 100,000 versus 0.74 per 100,000 in 2014), and those aged 85 years or older had the highest mortality among age groups. Results highlight the need for heightened action to prevent and monitor epilepsy-associated mortality.
Greenlund, S. F., Croft, J. B., & Kobau, R. (2017). Epilepsy by the Numbers: Epilepsy deaths by age, race/ethnicity, and gender in the United States significantly increased from 2005 to 2014. Epilepsy and Behavior, 69, 28–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.01.016