People with epilepsy are diagnosed most often with unspecified epilepsy, followed by focal epilepsy, generalized convulsive epilepsy, and generalized nonconvulsive epilepsy-US MarketScan data, 2010-2015

Epilepsy Behav. 2018 Feb;79:244-246. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.11.004. Epub 2017 Dec 15.


The distribution of epilepsy types varies by age, etiology, provider diagnostic capabilities, and assessment criteria. No recent US study has examined the distribution of epilepsy types in a large, population-based sample of people with epilepsy. We used MarketScan data from January 1, 2010 through September 30, 2015, to estimate the proportion of epilepsy types among all (N=370,570) individuals diagnosed with epilepsy. We identified cases of epilepsy as individuals with at least one International Classification of Disease, 9th version (ICD-9) diagnostic code of 345.X and the use of at least one antiseizure drug described in the 2015 MarketScan Redbook. Unspecified epilepsy was more common (36.8%) than focal-localized epilepsy (24.6%), generalized convulsive epilepsy (23.8%), generalized nonconvulsive epilepsy (8.9%), other forms of epilepsy (5.2%), infantile spasm (0.3%), and epilepsia partialis continua (0.3%). The high proportion of epilepsy classified as unspecified might be lowered by improved training in epilepsy diagnosis and coding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsia Partialis Continua / diagnosis
  • Epilepsia Partialis Continua / epidemiology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnosis
  • Epilepsies, Partial / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / classification*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • International Classification of Diseases*
  • Male
  • Spasms, Infantile / diagnosis
  • Spasms, Infantile / epidemiology