Prevalence of narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway

Acta Neurol Scand. 2009 Oct;120(4):276-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2009.01166.x. Epub 2009 May 15.


Objectives: Narcolepsy is a lifelong disabling disorder that may be alleviated by relevant treatment. Patients frequently report 10-15 years from the first symptoms to the time they get the diagnosis and treatment can be started. In order to offer a sufficient diagnostic and therapeutic service to this patient group, a reliable estimation of the prevalence of the disorder is important. A study of the prevalence of narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway was therefore undertaken.

Materials and methods: The Ullanlinna Narcolepsy scale (UNS) was sent to 14548 randomly selected Norwegians between 20 and 60 years. Additionally, the study included telephone interviews and clinical evaluation of responders with >or=14 points on the UNS, and in those with suspected narcolepsy, polygraphic sleep recordings and human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-typing.

Results: A total of 8992 responders answered the questionnaire (response rate 61.8%), 267 had >or=14 points on the UNS, 156 were interviewed and 15 had sleep recordings. In two HLADQB1*0602-positive patients sleep recordings were compatible with narcolepsy.

Conclusions: The results indicate a prevalence of 0.022% and approximately 1000 patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cataplexy / complications*
  • Cataplexy / epidemiology*
  • Cataplexy / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcolepsy / complications*
  • Narcolepsy / epidemiology*
  • Narcolepsy / genetics
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DQB1 antigen
  • Membrane Glycoproteins