Affiliations: Department of Pediatric Neurology, Gaziantep
Children's Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey
Note:  Correspondence: Dr. Sedat Işikay, Department of Pediatrics,
Division of Pediatric Neurology, Gaziantep Children's Hospital, 27500,
Şehitkamil, Gaziantep, Turkey. Tel.: +90 342 3606060, +90 5468481977; Fax:
+90 342 3603928; E-mail: dr.sedatisikay@ mynet.com
Abstract: Breath holding spell (BHS) is a paroxysmal non-epileptic disorder.
Although it is easy to diagnose in its typical form, the data are insufficient
in developing countries. This study was performed in Gaziantep province,
Turkey. Two thousand randomly selected 0–6 yr old children were invited to
family health centers. A specific questionnaire was administered to parents.
Children who had a history of BHS were referred to the hospital for medical
history and neurological examinations. Of the 2000 children who had been
invited, 1843 (92.15%) participated and remained through to final analysis.
Seventy (3.8%) children were diagnosed with BHS. The male to female ratio was
2:1, and the median age was 21 mo (13–29 mo). Based on parents' declarations,
cyanotic BHS occurred in 61 (87.1%) children and the age of onset was during
the first year of life for 98.5% of the children. We estimated that the
prevalence of BHS among children living in Southern Turkey is 3.8%.
Keywords: Breath holding spells, prevalence, children