European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 149–151 | Cite as

Epilepsy and associated handicaps in a 1 year birth cohort in Northern Finland

  • L. v. Wendt
  • P. Rantakallio
  • A. -L. Saukkonen
  • H. Mäkinen
Original Investigations


A 1 year birth cohort in the provinces of Oulu and Lapland in the Northern part of Finland consisted of 12058 live-born infants, this being 96% of all children born in 1966 in this area. Information on morbidity up to the age of 14 years was collected prospectively by means of questionnaires, special examinations and from national and regional registers of hospital adminissions and social services contacts.

The total number of children with epilepsy, defined as the occurrence of at least one afebrile epileptic seizure, was 208, 113 boys and 95 girls. The cumulative incidences for epilepsy to the age of 14 years was 17.3 per 1000. Primary generalised epilepsy was present in 63% and partial seizures in 37%.

At least one additional handicapping condition, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and visual or auditory defect was present in 74 children (35.5%). Mental retardation was the most frequent additional handicap, being present in 28%, whereas 16% of the children had cerebral palsy. A total of 75% of the children were able to attend an ordinary school. The high frequency of epilepsy in this study, as compared to other studies, is explained by the cumulative registration of the cases and a high degree of ascertainment of cases with epilepsy.

Key words

Epilepsy Handicap Childhood Cohort 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. v. Wendt
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Rantakallio
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. -L. Saukkonen
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Mäkinen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of OuluFinland

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