Delay of Treatment, After Diagnosis, as a Contributor to the “Treatment Gap” in Epilepsy

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2 Scopus citations


Assessment and Effect of a Gap Between New-Onset Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment in the US Kalilani L, Faught E, Kim H, Burudpakdee C, Seetasith A, Laranjo S, Friesen D, Haeffs K, Kiri V, Thurman DJ. Neurology. 2019;92(19):e2197-e2208. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000007448. Epub April 10, 2019. PMID: 30971487. Objective: To estimate the treatment gap between a new epilepsy diagnosis and antiepileptic drug (AED) initiation in the United States. Methods: Retrospective claims-based cohort study using Truven Health MarketScan databases (commercial and supplemental Medicare, calendar years 2010-2015; Medicaid, 2010-2014) and a validation study using PharMetrics Plus Database linked to LRx claims database (2009-2014). Persons met epilepsy diagnostic criteria, had an index date (first epilepsy diagnosis) with a preceding 2-year baseline (1 year for persons aged 1 to <2 years; none for persons <1 year), and continuous medical and pharmacy enrollment without epilepsy/seizure diagnosis or AED prescription during baseline. Outcomes included percentage of untreated persons (no AED prescription) up to 3 years’ follow-up and comparative outcomes (incidence rate ratio, untreated persons/treated persons), including medical events and health-care resource utilization. Results: In the primary study, 59 970 persons met selection (or inclusion) criteria; 36.7% of persons with newly diagnosed epilepsy remained untreated up to 3 years after diagnosis. In the validation study (N = 30 890), 31.8% of persons remained untreated up to 3 years after diagnosis. Lack of AED treatment was associated with an adjusted incidence rate ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.2 (1.2-1.3) for medical events, 2.3 (2.2-2.3) for hospitalizations, and 2.8 (2.7-2.9) for emergency department visits. Conclusions: One-third of newly diagnosed persons remain untreated up to 3 years after epilepsy diagnosis. The increased risk of medical events and health-care utilization highlights the consequences of delayed treatment after epilepsy diagnosis, which might be preventable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-386
Number of pages2
JournalEpilepsy Currents
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


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