Introduction: An association is observed between the severity of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and the genetic abnormality of cytosine-thymine-guanine (CTG) repeat expansion. It is unknown whether an association exists between survival and CTG repeat expansion.
Methods: In an adult 406-patient DM1 cohort, the phenotype, including survival age, was evaluated in relation to CTG repeat expansion.
Results: At study entry, age was 42 ± 12 (range 18-78) years, with a CTG repeat length of 629 ± 386 (range 54-1965). An inverse correlation was observed between CTG repeat length and the age at onset and younger DM1 phenotype. Over a follow-up of 9.2 ± 3.1 years, 118 (29.1%) patients died, including 60 of neuromuscular respiratory failure, 41 of cardiac causes, and 17 of non-neuromuscular, non-cardiac causes. There was an inverse relationship between all-cause survival and CTG length (relative risk 5.4 per log repeat, 95% confidence interval 2.9-10.2, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The data demonstrate a genotype-mortality association in DM1.
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