A community-Based Epidemiological Study of Epilepsy among Students of Primary and Preparatory School Stages in New Damietta City

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Neurology, Damietta Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

2 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

3 Department of Public Health; Damietta faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar university, Egypt



Background:Even though Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder globally, developing countries still have insufficient epidemiological data regarding epilepsy.
Aim of the Work:We aimed to estimate the prevalence of epilepsy in primary and preparatory school students in New Damietta city, Damietta governorate, Egypt.
Patients and Methods:A cross-sectional community-based study that was conducted over a period of six months from February to July 2020. All students from conventional schools were screened using a special validated Arabic translated questionnaire. Students with positive questionnaire findings were subjected to a detailed history, neurological examination, Electroencephalography [EEG], and Magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] whenever possible. Data were coded and analyzed.
Result:Lifetime prevalence was 7.5/1000 in conventional schools. Male: Female ratio was 2:1 with statistical significance [95% Confidence Interval= 0.276 to 0.963]. Low socioeconomic class students had a statistically significant higher prevalence of epilepsy. Prenatal and neonatal insults, history of febrile convulsions, and family history of epilepsy were the risk factors with statistical significance. Generalized seizures were more frequent than focal and 62.2% of children were receiving treatment. EEG detected epileptiform discharges in 33.3% of students.
Conclusion: The prevalence of overall epilepsy among primary and preparatory school students was similar to that of other Egyptian districts within the same age group. Being male and low socioeconomic status was associated with a high prevalence of epilepsy. The reported prevalence is similar to the prevalence of epilepsy in other Egyptian Governorates and other Arab countries, but lower than the prevalence in Upper Egypt and most developing countries


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