Estimating Epilepsy Incidence and Prevalence in the US Pediatric Population Using Nationwide Health Insurance Claims Data

J Child Neurol. 2016 May;31(6):743-9. doi: 10.1177/0883073815620676. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


This study aims to determine prevalence and incidence of epilepsy in the US pediatric population. We analyzed commercial claims and Medicaid insurance claims data between 2008 and 2012. Over 8 million continuously enrolled lives aged 0 to 19 years were included. Our definition of a prevalent case of epilepsy was based on International Classification of Diseases-coded diagnoses of epilepsy or seizures and evidence of prescribed antiepileptic drugs. Incident cases were identified in subjects continuously enrolled for ≥2 years of which the first 2 years had no indication of epilepsy or seizures. The overall prevalence estimate for 2012 was 6.8 per 1,000 children. The overall incidence estimate for 2012 was 104 per 100,000 pediatric population. This study provides estimates of the prevalence and incidence of epilepsy in the US pediatric population, using large claims datasets from multiple US population sectors. The findings appear reasonably representative of the US-insured pediatric population.

Keywords: US pediatric population; claims database; epilepsy; incidence; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anticonvulsants