Epilepsy Stats and Facts

I call epilepsy a “stealth” disease, but it’s difficult to imagine how so few people can know about a disease that affects so many.

For example, few people know:

* Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson’s Disease combined.

* In America, Epilepsy is as common as Breast Cancer, and takes as many lives.

*Almost 500 new cases of Epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States.

* Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.

* One in 100 people will develop Epilepsy.

* One in 10 people will suffer a seizure in their lifetime.

* This year another 200,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with Epilepsy.

* Each year over 125,000 to 150,000 are newly diagnosed with Epilepsy.

* 30% of those diagnosed are children.

* Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.

* For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, Epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.

* In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with Epilepsy, the cause is unknown.

* In over 30% of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment.

* Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death.

* Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes.

* The mortality rate among people with Epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population.

* Risk of sudden death among those with Epilepsy is twenty-four times greater.

* Epilepsy results in an estimated annual cost of $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production.

* Historically, epilepsy research has been under-funded.  Each year NIH spends $30 billion of medical research, but just ½ of 1% is spent on epilepsy.

* The Federal government spends much less on Epilepsy research compared to other diseases, many which affect fewer people.

* St Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy!