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Data show big rise in deaths of people with neurological disorders

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 19 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1278
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London

The number of deaths in England relating to neurological disorders rose by 39% over 13 years while deaths in the general population fell by 6%, a new analysis of mortality has indicated.

Deaths of people with epilepsy increased by 70% between 2001 and 2014, with mortality in the most deprived areas nearly three times that in the least deprived.

The Neurological Alliance, a campaigning group that represents 80 organisations, described the epilepsy figures as “shocking” and a “stark illustration of health inequalities.”

The report, by Public Health England, said that improved survival among people with other conditions and better diagnosis of neurological conditions were likely to be the two main factors contributing to the divergence in mortality rates.1

The researchers analysed 366 728 death certificates that recorded one of seven neurological conditions (epilepsy; motor neurone disease and spinal muscular atrophy; multiple sclerosis and inflammatory disorders; neuromuscular diseases; Parkinsonism and other extrapyramidal/tic disorders; traumatic brain and spine injury; and tumours of the nervous system). …

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