Literature Monitor

Threat of SUDEP is Remote in Children, Less So in Adults

The greatest risk occurs among patients with generalized tonic-clonic seizures.


The risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) in children with epilepsy is very small, affecting about 1 in 4500 individuals. The risk of SUDEP in adults is a relatively more common, but still rare, occurrence, affecting 1 in 1000 adults, according to a recent review of the evidence published in Neurology. The major risk factor for SUDEP is generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS), which prompted experts to recommend that clinicians should actively monitor patients with GTCS and inform patients of the value of remaining free of GTCS to reduce their risk of SUDEP.

Harden C, Tomson T, Gloss D, et al. Practice guideline summary: sudden unexpected death in epilepsy incidence rates and risk factors. Neurology. 2017;88:1674-1680.

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