CDC finds an increase in epilepsy among Americans


“Number of Americans with active epilepsy is increasing,” concludes a national and state-specific study that was published last week in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Morbidity and Mortality Report.

Epilepsy, a common neurological disorder characterized by repeated seizures that can involve temporary loss of consciousness, altered or rapid eye movements, involuntary muscular jerks or twitching and other symptoms.

Until now, few reliable national or state-specific estimates of epilepsy prevalence exist, which had made it difficult for public health and advocacy groups to effectively address this issue.­­

In this study, CDC researchers analyzed data from 2015 National Health Interview Survey for adults, the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health and the 2015 Current Population Survey data.

Based on that, they found an estimated 3 million people and nearly half a million children have active epilepsy across the US, which equals about 1.2% of the US population, an increase from previous estimates.