Seizure epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Shakiba Hassanzadeh, MD[2]


It is estimated that 11% of the population experience a seizure in their life compared to the estimation of 3% for epilepsy. In the US, seizure is estimated to account for 1 million or 1% of emergency department (ED) visits annually. The incidence of acute symptomatic seizures is estimated to be 39 cases per 100,000 individuals in the US. Seizures are more common among males and people of African descent.

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • In the United States, the incidence of acute symptomatic seizures is estimated to be 39 cases per 100,000 individuals.[1]
  • It is estimated that 11% of the population experience a seizure in their life compared to the estimation of 3% for epilepsy.[2][3]


Case-fatality rate/Mortality rate



  • Individuals of the African American race are more likely to have seizure-related ED visits compared to Whites.[4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Annegers JF, Hauser WA, Lee JR, Rocca WA (1995). "Incidence of acute symptomatic seizures in Rochester, Minnesota, 1935-1984". Epilepsia. 36 (4): 327–33. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1157.1995.tb01005.x. PMID 7607110.
  2. Bethune P, Gordon K, Dooley J, Camfield C, Camfield P (1993). "Which child will have a febrile seizure?". Am J Dis Child. 147 (1): 35–9. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160250037013. PMID 7678187.
  3. Hauser WA, Annegers JF, Rocca WA (1996). "Descriptive epidemiology of epilepsy: contributions of population-based studies from Rochester, Minnesota". Mayo Clin Proc. 71 (6): 576–86. doi:10.4065/71.6.576. PMID 8642887.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Pallin DJ, Goldstein JN, Moussally JS, Pelletier AJ, Green AR, Camargo CA (2008). "Seizure visits in US emergency departments: epidemiology and potential disparities in care". Int J Emerg Med. 1 (2): 97–105. doi:10.1007/s12245-008-0024-4. PMC 2657249. PMID 19384659.
  5. Huff JS, Morris DL, Kothari RU, Gibbs MA, Emergency Medicine Seizure Study Group (2001). "Emergency department management of patients with seizures: a multicenter study". Acad Emerg Med. 8 (6): 622–8. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2001.tb00175.x. PMID 11388937.
  6. Krumholz A, Grufferman S, Orr ST, Stern BJ (1989). "Seizures and seizure care in an emergency department". Epilepsia. 30 (2): 175–81. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1157.1989.tb05451.x. PMID 2924743.
  7. Brinar V, Bozicević D, Zurak N, Gubarev N, Djaković V (1991). "Epileptic seizures as a symptom of various neurological diseases". Neurol Croat. 40 (2): 93–101. PMID 1883923.
  8. 8.0 8.1 DeLorenzo RJ, Hauser WA, Towne AR, Boggs JG, Pellock JM, Penberthy L; et al. (1996). "A prospective, population-based epidemiologic study of status epilepticus in Richmond, Virginia". Neurology. 46 (4): 1029–35. doi:10.1212/wnl.46.4.1029. PMID 8780085.