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Myasthenia Gravis

Prevalence of MG

09/14/1999

Question:

Is there any information about the prevalence of Myasthenia Gravis in individuals of different cultures?

Answer:

In the last 20 years, more and better information about the prevalence (how many patients there are in a given geographical area at a point in time) and the incidence (the number of new patients in a region) of myasthenia gravis has been done. In Cyprus the prevalence is 175 patients per million population in contrast to Karachi, Pakistan with a prevalence of 26. In Virginia a prevalence of 142 was estimated with African-Americans having the disease more commonly. Some studies suggest that ocular myasthenia occurs more commonly among Oriental populations. My answer has addressed geographic regions that may be culturally diverse. I am not aware of any study that addresses specific differences in cultural practices and myasthenia gravis. The best review regarding the epidemiology of myasthenia appeared in the journal, Neurology, in November of 1996, volume 47, pages 1233-1238, by Phillips and Torner entitled "Epidemiologic Evidence for Changing Natural History for Myasthenia Gravis".

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Response by:

Henry J Kaminski, MD Henry J Kaminski, MD
Formerly, Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University