People living with epilepsy are three times more likely to die prematurely than the general population (1).  Among deaths attributable to epilepsy or seizures, important and possibly preventable causes include: SUDEP, status epilepticus, unintentional injuries, and suicide.  In recent years, researchers have recommended that epilepsy-related deaths be categorized as following:



Current data suggest that more than 6,000 people die each year in the U.S. from epilepsy.  However, these estimates are considered low due to poor surveillance data.  Under-reporting of epilepsy deaths remains a serious concern.



We do know that premature morality from epilepsy is a significant public health problem that is not adequately understood or addressed.  SUDEP alone exacts a serious burden.  Comparing years of potential life lost from SUDEP with selected other neurologic diseases, SUDEP ranks second only to stroke. (2) 





  1. Watila MM, Balarabe SA, Ojo O, Keezer MR, Sander JW. Overall and cause-specific premature mortality in epilepsy: a systematic review. Epilepsy Behav. 2018;87:213-25.
  2. Thurman, Epilepsia. 2014 Oct;55(10):1479-85.doi: 10.1111/epi.12666. Epub 2014 Jun 5



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