Document Detail

Population-based study of the incidence of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9818844     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To determine the population-based incidence of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and to determine the risk of SUDEP compared with the general population. BACKGROUND: Prior studies of SUDEP have described a wide range of incidence and have suffered from selection bias and other methodologic limitations. A population-based study of the incidence of SUDEP has never been performed. Furthermore, the risk of sudden death in the epilepsy population has not been compared with that of the general population. METHODS: All deaths in persons whose epilepsy was diagnosed between 1935 and 1994 in Rochester, MN, were reviewed. The rate of SUDEP was compared with the expected rate of sudden death in the general population for patients age 20 to 40 years to determine the standardized mortality ratio (SMR). RESULTS: We identified nine cases of SUDEP. SUDEP accounted for 8.6% (7 of 81) of the deaths in persons 15 to 44 years of age. The incidence of SUDEP was 0.35 per 1,000 person-years. SMR for SUDEP was 23.7 (95% confidence interval, 7.7 to 55.0) compared with the general population. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of SUDEP in our study was 0.35 per 1,000 person-years. SUDEP was responsible for 1.7% of deaths in our cohort. SUDEP is a rare cause of death in the epilepsy population but exceeds the expected rate of sudden death in the general population by nearly 24 times.
D M Ficker; E L So; W K Shen; J F Annegers; P C O'Brien; G D Cascino; P G Belau
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neurology     Volume:  51     ISSN:  0028-3878     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurology     Publication Date:  1998 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-12-03     Completed Date:  1998-12-03     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401060     Medline TA:  Neurology     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1270-4     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Child, Preschool
Confidence Intervals
Death, Sudden / epidemiology*
Epilepsy / mortality*
Middle Aged
Minnesota / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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