Temporal changes in the incidence of epilepsy in Finland: Nationwide study

Matti Sillanpää, Reetta Kälviäinen, Timo Klaukka, Hans Helenius, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine possible changes over time in the incidence of epilepsy in different age groups. Methods: Based on the nationwide full-refundable antiepileptic drug register and population register, incidence of newly diagnosed epilepsy was measured by granted full-refundable antiepileptic drugs for epilepsy. Results: The incidence was throughout all age groups higher in men than in women. The incidence in the total population had significantly declined in 1986-2002, from 71.6/100,000 to 52.9/100,000. The incidence significantly decreased in children (0.77; 0.71-0.84, p < 0.0001) and adults (0.83; 0.77-0.89, p < 0.0001) but increased in the elderly (1.18; 1.10-1.26, p < 0.0001). The increased incidence in the elderly over the time period was primarily seen in women. Conclusion: The incidence of epilepsy has significantly declined in both children and adults with a concurrent increase in the incidence among the elderly. Further studies are needed to elucidate the precise cause of these temporal changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-215
Number of pages10
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence of epilepsy
  • Temporal changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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