The epidemiology of myasthenia gravis in central and western Virginia.
We conducted a study of the epidemiology of myasthenia gravis (MG) in four locations in central and western Virginia from 1970 through 1984. The population surveyed was 555,851 in 1984. A total of 73 new cases of MG occurred during the survey period, producing an overall average annual incidence rate of 9.1 per million. The point prevalence rate in 1980 was 13.4 per 100,000, and in 1984 it was 14.2. Approximately 15% of the population was black, and we found that incidence and prevalence rates for the black population were higher than the corresponding white population. When the population was subdivided into <50 and 50+ age groups, the incidence and prevalence were significantly higher in the older group. The rates we report here are higher than rates reported from any other locality. The reasons for the higher rates include optimal case identification, survey of a population with a higher incidence, and increasing aging of the population.
Phillips, LH; Torner, JC; Anderson, MS; Cox, GM
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