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The direct medical costs of epilepsy in children and young people: a population-based study of health resource utilisation

Ali, Mostafa A. Sayed; Elliott, Rachel A.; Tata, Laila J.


Mostafa A. Sayed Ali

Rachel A. Elliott


We described the health resource utilisation (HRU) and associated direct medical costs of managing epilepsy in children and young people (CYP) using population-level data from the United Kingdom.

The study cohort were CYP born between 1988 and 2004 who were newly diagnosed with epilepsy and identified using a nationally representative primary care database from the United Kingdom. Reference unit costs were applied to each element of HRU to calculate annual direct medical costs per child. We assessed whether HRU and costs differed by time from diagnosis, age, sex and socioeconomic deprivation.

Of 798 CYP newly diagnosed with epilepsy, 56% were male and the mean age at diagnosis was 5.6 years. The highest burden of HRU was in the first year following diagnosis with a mean annual cost of £930 (95% confidence interval (CI) £839–1022) per child in this first year. This decreased to £461 (95%CI 368–551) in the second year which remained fairly constant each subsequent year (£413 (95% CI 282–540) in the 8th year). The highest contribution to the annual medical costs was from inpatient hospital admissions followed by the costs of AEDs. Mean annual medical costs were significantly higher in children under 6 years of age compared with older children (p < 0.01), but were similar across socioeconomic groups (p = 0.62). The direct medical costs of HRU in CYP with epilepsy are higher in the first year after diagnosis compared to subsequent years, reflecting HRU related to the diagnostic process in the first year. Medical costs did not vary substantially by sex or socioeconomic deprivation indicating a similar level of consultation and care across these groups.


Ali, M. A. S., Elliott, R. A., & Tata, L. J. (in press). The direct medical costs of epilepsy in children and young people: a population-based study of health resource utilisation. Epilepsy Research, 108(3),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 5, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 7, 2014
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 17, 2017
Journal Epilepsy Research
Print ISSN 0920-1211
Electronic ISSN 1872-6844
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 108
Issue 3
Keywords Epilepsy in children, general practice, medical cost, health resource
Public URL
Publisher URL


EPIRES-D-13-00306_revised manuscript to Epilepsy Research J.pdf (522 Kb)

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