Family Medicine (East Africa)
Objective: We estimated premature mortality and identified causes of death and associated factors in people with active convulsive epilepsy (ACE) in rural Kenya.
Methods: In this prospective population-based study, people with ACE were identified in a crosssectional survey and followed up regularly for 3 years, during which information on deaths and associated factors was collected. We used a validated verbal autopsy tool to establish putative causes of death. Age-specific rate ratios and standardized mortality ratios were estimated. Poisson regression was used to identify mortality risk factors.
Results: There were 61 deaths among 754 people with ACE, yielding a rate of 33.3/1,000 persons/year. Overall standardized mortality ratio was 6.5. Mortality was higher across all ACE age groups. Nonadherence to antiepileptic drugs (adjusted rate ratio [aRR] 3.37), cognitive impairment (aRR4.55), and age (501 years) (rate ratio 4.56) were risk factors for premature mortality. Most deaths (56%) were directly related to epilepsy, with prolonged seizures/possible status epilepticus (38%) most frequently associated with death; some of these may have been due to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Possible SUDEP was the likely cause in another 7%.
Conclusion: Mortality in people with ACE was more than 6-fold greater than expected. This may be reduced by improving treatment adherence and prompt management of prolonged seizures and supporting those with cognitive impairment.
Sander, J. W.,
Newton, C. R.
(2014). Premature mortality in active convulsive epilepsy in rural Kenya: causes and associated factors. Neurology, 82(7), 582-589.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_fam_med/29