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Too Few Adults Taking Epilepsy Meds Have Seizure Control

Ninety percent of those with active epilepsy take meds; 44 percent of those report seizure control

MONDAY, April 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Although most adults with epilepsy report taking epilepsy medication, less than half of those report having their seizures controlled, according to research published in the April 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Niu Tian, M.D., Ph.D., from CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed aggregated data from the 2013 and 2015 National Health Interview Surveys to obtain recent and reliable estimates of active epilepsy and seizure control status in the U.S. population.

The researchers found that an annual estimated 2.6 million U.S adults (1.1 percent) self-reported having active epilepsy; of these, 67 and 90 percent had seen a neurologist or epilepsy specialist in the past year and reported taking epilepsy medication, respectively. Only 44 percent of those taking epilepsy medication reported having their seizures controlled. There were correlations for higher prevalence of active epilepsy and poorer seizure control with low family income; unemployment; and being divorced, separated, or widowed. Adults who saw an epilepsy specialist in the past year had higher use of epilepsy medication than those who did not.

“Health care and public health should ensure that adults with uncontrolled seizures have appropriate care and self-management support in order to promote seizure control, improve health and social outcomes, and reduce health care costs,” the authors write.

One author was employed by Cutting Edge Technologies and Solutions in Mesa, Ariz.

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