One percent of Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. About 2.5 to 3 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy. Additionally, about one in 26 people will experience recurring seizures.
Epilepsy can begin at any age. Studies have not identified a prime diagnosis time, but the incidence rate is highest in children and older adults. Luckily, some children with seizures will eventually grow out of them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.3 million American adults have epilepsy. More than 467,000 children have been diagnosed with the central nervous system disorder.
Additionally, almost 150,000 people in the U.S. develop epilepsy every year.
Researchers are still unclear if ethnicity plays a role in who develops epilepsy. Studies suggest, however, that non-Latino whites are more commonly affected by generalized epilepsy than people of African-American descent.
This finding points to the possibility that our ancestry may help determine who develops epilepsy.
Overall, no gender is more likely to develop epilepsy than the other. However, it’s possible each gender is more likely to develop certain subtypes of epilepsy. For example, a study found that symptomatic epilepsies are more common in men than women. Cryptogenic seizures (seizures with no known cause) are more frequent in women.