Prevalence of polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia

Am J Hematol. 2008 May;83(5):359-62. doi: 10.1002/ajh.21129.


Polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET) are common types of myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), the prevalence of which has not been well documented in the United States. Recent breakthroughs in the molecular etiology of these disorders and the accelerated development of targeted pharmacotherapeutics to treat them underscore the need to define the affected population. In this study, we obtained health claims data from major commercial insurance payers in Connecticut and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to estimate the prevalence of PV and ET. Specifically, logistic regression was utilized to develop algorithms to predict the probability that an individual with claims suggestive of MPD truly has PV or ET, and the algorithms were then applied to health claims to estimate the number of PV and ET patients in Connecticut. As of 2003, the age-standardized prevalence was 22 per 100,000 and 24 per 100,000 for PV and ET, respectively, in Connecticut. Applying the age-specific prevalence of PV and ET to the entire US population resulted in an estimated total of 65,243 patients with PV and 71,078 patients with ET in the United States in 2003. This study is the first to assess the prevalence of PV and ET in a large US population. Given the large number of individuals afflicted with these diseases and the fact that demographic changes alone will further increase the burden of

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Area Under Curve
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insurance Carriers / statistics & numerical data
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycythemia Vera / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology