Objective: To evaluate the family history of epilepsy in first degree relatives of probands with epilepsy. Methods: A sample of 10787 patients with epilepsy with complete information about first degree relatives (parents, siblings and offspring) was selected from the database of the Episcreen Project, the largest Italian observational study on epilepsy. Family history was assessed by: (1) prevalence estimates of epilepsy among proband's relatives, (2) modified cumulative risks (MCR), adjusted using proband's age as censoring time in life tables, (3) standardised morbidity ratios (SMR), using a sub-group of symptomatic epilepsies as control group. Results: Patients (9.1%) had a family history of epilepsy. The overall prevalence of epilepsy among first degree relatives was 2.6%. Idiopathic generalised epilepsies had the highest prevalence (5.3%). Cryptogenetic epilepsies had a lower prevalence (2.1%) than idiopathic epilepsies, but higher then symptomatic epilepsies (1.5%), both in generalised and focal forms (3.8% vs. 2.0% and 1.8% vs. 1.3%). A similar tendency was detected using MCR and SMR, with the higher values of risks/ratios for idiopathic and generalised epilepsies. Probands with idiopathic generalised epilepsies were highly concordant with respect to their relatives' type of epilepsy. Considering other strata factors, risks were higher in proband's epilepsies with an onset less then 14 years of age, while sex played no definite role in differentiating the family history. Conclusions: The Episcreen model permits a variety of stratification factors to measure family risk, including age at onset, epilepsy localisation and aetiology with a large sample of more than 10 000 probands and 1065/40 544 relatives affected and classified.
- Family history
- Standardised morbidity ratio
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health