The cumulative incidence (i.e. lifetime risk) is 3.4 per cent for males, 2.8 per cent for females, but the prevalence is only 7 per 1000. This is because prevalence represents the balance between newly diagnosed cases and permanent remission or death, and epilepsy has a good prognosis with 76 per cent of newly diagnosed cases entering long-term remission.(3) Approximately half can be classified as partial seizures and 40 per cent as generalized. Prognosis varies according to the epilepsy subtype, with partial epilepsy having a poorer outcome. Consequently, people who attend a hospital clinic are unrepresentative, in that they are more likely to have treatment-refractory partial seizures along with the other adverse prognostic factors such as mental handicap, neurological dysfunction, or psychiatric disorders.

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