Which factors increase the risk for sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The incidence of SUDEP is low, about 2.3 times higher than the incidence of sudden death in the general population. The increased risk of death is seen mostly in people with long-standing focal-onset epilepsy, but it is also present in individuals with primary generalized epilepsy. The risk of SUDEP increases in the setting of uncontrolled seizures and in people with poor medication compliance. The risk increases further in people with uncontrolled secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures.


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