Prevalence of essential tremor in Araihazar, Bangladesh: a population-based study

Neuroepidemiology. 2011;36(2):71-6. doi: 10.1159/000323389. Epub 2011 Jan 19.


Background: Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurological diseases. Few prevalence studies have been conducted in South Asia, and none in Bangladesh, one of the most populated countries in the world. We estimated the prevalence of ET in a population-based study in Araihazar, Bangladesh.

Methods: As part of an in-person evaluation in a health outcomes study, each study participant produced 2 handwriting samples, from which ET diagnoses were assigned by 2 independent movement disorder neurologists.

Results: The crude prevalence of ET (age ≥18 years) was 19/1,229 [1.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0-2.4], and was similar in men and women. The crude prevalence was 2.5% in participants aged ≥40 years and was one half that (1.3%) among younger participants (<40 years), although the difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.18). The age-adjusted prevalence (United States 2000 census) was 2.0% (95% CI = 1.2-2.8).

Conclusion: The crude prevalence of ET in Araihazar, Bangladesh, was 1.5%. There is 1 other population-based study in a developing country (Turkey) which, like ours, did not restrict enrollment to middle-aged or elderly individuals and did not rely on screening questionnaires; the crude prevalence in the 2 studies is very similar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arsenic / toxicity
  • Bangladesh / ethnology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Essential Tremor / diagnosis*
  • Essential Tremor / ethnology*
  • Essential Tremor / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance* / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / adverse effects
  • Young Adult


  • Arsenic