• Article

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in epilepsy in the District of Columbia

We investigated social and demographic factors as they relate to prevalence and incidence of epilepsy in Washington, DC, a culturally diverse area. Probability-based sampling was used to select 20,000 households to complete a mailed epilepsy screening survey on all household members. Screened individuals with a history of epilepsy were sent a detailed case survey about seizures and treatment. Prevalence and incidence of epilepsy were estimated using weighted data. Lifetime prevalence was 1.53% overall; 0.77% in Whites, 2.13% in Blacks, and 3.4% in those with less than a high school diploma. Prevalence of active epilepsy was 0.79% and followed similar subgroup comparisons as lifetime prevalence. Age-adjusted lifetime and active epilepsy from multivariate analyses demonstrated significantly higher rates for Blacks compared to Whites and for those not completing high school compared to those that attended graduate school. The incidence of epilepsy was 71 per 100,000 persons. Adults with active epilepsy were significantly less likely to live alone than those without epilepsy. Residents of DC for <4 years had the lowest prevalence and incidence of all subgroups indicating a possible healthy mover effect. This is the first study to provide estimates and profiles of the epilepsy population in DC which can help better target resources to improve the health and outcomes of people with epilepsy and their families


Kroner, B., Fahimi, M., Kenyon, A., Thurman, DJ., & Gaillard, WD. (2013). Racial and socioeconomic disparities in epilepsy in the District of Columbia. Epilepsy Research, 103(2-3), 279-287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2012.07.005