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Epilepsy Data and Statistics

Epilepsy Prevalence in the United States

In 2015, 1.2% of the US population had active epilepsy (95% CI* = 1.1-1.4). This is about 3.4 million people with epilepsy nationwide: 3 million adults and 470,000 children.  Find the prevalence estimates for your state in the data table below. Learn more about epilepsy and public health in your state by visiting the Resources for States at the bottom of the page.

 

What Is Active Epilepsy?

An adult aged 18 or older has active epilepsy if they report they have a history of doctor-diagnosed epilepsy or seizure disorder and

  • Are currently taking medication to control it or
  • Had one or more seizures in the past year (or both) (from the National Health Interview Survey, 2015).

A child aged 17 years or younger has active epilepsy if their parent or guardian reports:

  • That a doctor or health care provider has ever told them that their child had epilepsy or seizure disorder, and
  • Their child currently has epilepsy or seizure disorder (from the National Survey of Children’s Health, 2011-2012).

To learn more about the methods used to calculate epilepsy prevalence, please read the full study.

 

Active Epilepsy Prevalence, by State

*CI = Confidence Interval. CI describes the level of uncertainty of an estimate and specifies the range in which the true value is likely to fall. These reports use a 95% level of significance, which means that 95% of the time, the true value falls within these boundaries.

Source: Zack MM, Kobau R. National and state estimates of the numbers of adults and children with active epilepsy — United States, 2015. MMWR. 2017;66:821–825. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6631a1. html

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