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The mortality of epilepsy.

The overall risk of premature death in patients with epilepsy has recently been quantified and is two to three times that of the general population. Most of the increased risk is directly related to the cause of the epilepsy itself. A small number of deaths in the general population of patients with epilepsy are epilepsy-related deaths, which includes those deaths caused by a seizure or accidents during or immediately after a seizure, as well as sudden unexpected death, for which no cause of death can be identified. Sudden unexpected deaths are more common in patients with intractable epilepsy. Recent studies suggest that improved seizure control, advice and help to avoid the hazards that occur during a seizure, as well as increased supervision of institutionalized patients, may help reduce the risks of epilepsy-related death occurring.

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