Prevalence of epilepsy in iran: a meta-analysis and systematic review

Iran J Child Neurol. 2014 Fall;8(4):9-17.


Objective: Epilepsy is one of the most common diseases in Iran contributing to an array of health problems. In light of this, the aim of the present study is to examine the prevalence of epilepsy in Iran through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Materials & methods: A systematic search of several databases including PubMed, scientific information databases, Google, Google scholar, Elsevier and Scopus was conducted in June 2013. Observational studies were considered for inclusion if they were published in Iranian and examined epilepsy prevalence and/or related risk factors. Meta-analysis was conducted using a random effect model with the DerSimonian/Laird method. Heterogeneity was examined using the Breslow- Day test and inconsistency using the I2 statistic.

Results: A total of 45 studies were identified from the search strategy. Of these, nine published manuscripts with a total of 7,723 participants were included within the review. The pooled prevalence of epilepsy in Iran was estimated to be around 5% (95% confident interval (CI) 2 to 8). For each region the prevalence of epilepsy in central, northern and eastern Iran were 5% (95%CI 2 to 8), 1% (95%CI -1 to 3) and 4% (95%CI 3 to 11) respectively. The most common risk factors in order of prevalence were somatic diseases 39% (95%CI 15 to 62), convulsion 38% (95%CI 11 to 65), mental diseases 36% (95%CI 15 to 95) and hereditary development 26% (95%CI 9 to 42). A meta-regression model identified a declining trend in the prevalence of epilepsy within Iran for the last decade.

Conclusion: Pooled analyses from the nine included publications in this review estimate the prevalence of epilepsy in Iran to be around 5%. Although this result is much higher than rates in other countries, a declining trend in prevalence over the past decade was also identified.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Iran; Meta-analysis; Prevalence; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review