From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 16, 2013

Epilepsy in Adults and Access to Care—United States, 2010

JAMA. 2013;309(3):224-226. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.147846

MMWR. 2012;45:909-913.

1 table omitted. Available at

Epilepsy is a neurologic disorder that negatively affects the quality of life for millions of persons in the United States1; however, nationally representative U.S. estimates of the prevalence of epilepsy are scant.2 To determine epilepsy prevalence among adults, assess their access to care, and provide baseline estimates for a Healthy People 2020 objective (“Increase the proportion of persons with epilepsy and uncontrolled seizures who receive appropriate medical care”),3 CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The results of that analysis indicated that, in 2010, an estimated 1.0% of U.S. adults and 1.9% of those with annual family income levels ≤$34,999 had active epilepsy. In addition, only 52.8% of adults with active epilepsy reported seeing a neurologic specialist in the preceding 12 months. Public health agencies can work with Epilepsy Foundation state affiliates and other health and human service providers to eliminate identified barriers to care for persons with epilepsy.2,4

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