epidemiology

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  • antibodies to acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (AChRs) themselves occur in 85% of cases ('seropositive'); in the remainder of cases antibodies bind to a different muscle membrane target ('seronegative')
  • prevalence in northern Europe is 10-15 per 100,000 (1)
  • non-thymoma cases have a peak incidence at 10-30 years and again, at 60-70 years of age; those associated with thymoma have a peak incidence at 40-50 years of age
  • females are affected more often in the under 40 year old age group whereas men predominate in cases which develop in older age groups
  • about 10% of cases develop during childhood
  • thymoma - this is present in 10% of patients but is rare in 'seronegative' myasthenia gravis and children

Reference:

  • Prescribers' Journal 2000; 40 (2): 93-98.
  • Jeffrey M. Statland, Emma Ciafaloni. Myasthenia gravis: Five new things Neurol Clin Pract. 2013 April; 3(2): 126-133.

Last reviewed 06/2021