Background/Aims: The prevalence of epilepsy in Algeria is unknown. The aims of this multicenter transversal study were to determine the national prevalence and clinical characteristics of epilepsy in the Algerian population. Methods: This two-phase study was conducted in 5 circumscriptions and included 8,046 subjects aged over 2 months who attended the randomly selected public and private primary care clinics. In the phase 1 study, a questionnaire was submitted to the sample of patients. In the phase 2 study, all potentially epileptic people were examined by neurologists and a second questionnaire was submitted, eventually assessed by appropriate investigations. Results: Sixty-seven patients were identified as having active epilepsy, giving a crude prevalence ratio of 8.32 per 1,000 (95% CI, 6.34–10.3) and an age-adjusted prevalence ratio of 8.9 per 1,000. The highest age-specific ratio was found in patients aged 10–19 years (16.92 per 1,000). Generalized seizures (68.7%) were more common than partial seizures (29.8%). Perinatal injuries were the major leading putative causes (11.9%). Conclusion: The prevalence of epilepsy of 8.32 determined in this study is relatively high. These results provide new epidemiological data and suggest that epilepsy remains an important public health issue to consider in Algeria.

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