Epidemiology of myasthenia gravis: a population-based study in Stockholm, Sweden

Neuroepidemiology. Sep-Oct 2002;21(5):221-5. doi: 10.1159/000065639.


A regional database of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients was used to estimate the prevalence and selected characteristics of the disease in the county of Stockholm, Sweden. The prevalence of MG was 14.1/100,000 (17.1 for women and 10.8 for men). The mean age at onset for women and men was 34.9 and 48.5 years, respectively. About 60% of patients were diagnosed within the first year after initial symptoms. Generalized MG was found in 79% of patients, and 10% had severe symptoms. Almost two thirds of the patients had undergone thymectomy, and 30% needed immunosuppressive treatment. The increase in the prevalence of MG since the 1960s probably reflects an improvement in prognosis and higher detection rates of patients with milder symptoms. A delay in diagnosis indicates that early signs and symptoms of MG are still not well known by all doctors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / epidemiology*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Immunosuppressive Agents