Objective: To determine the incidence and prevalence of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) in the Netherlands.
Methods: Using 3-source capture-recapture methodology, we estimated the total yearly number of newly found symptomatic individuals with FSHD, including those not registered in any of the 3 sources. To this end, symptomatic individuals with FSHD were available from 3 large population-based registries in the Netherlands if diagnosed within a 10-year period (January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2010). Multiplication of the incidence and disease duration delivered the prevalence estimate.
Results: On average, 52 people are newly diagnosed with FSHD every year. This results in an incidence rate of 0.3/100,000 person-years in the Netherlands. The prevalence rate was 12/100,000, equivalent to 2,000 affected individuals.
Conclusions: We present population-based incidence and prevalence estimates regarding symptomatic individuals with FSHD, including an estimation of the number of symptomatic individuals not present in any of the 3 used registries. This study shows that the total number of symptomatic persons with FSHD in the population may well be underestimated and a considerable number of affected individuals remain undiagnosed. This suggests that FSHD is one of the most prevalent neuromuscular disorders.
© 2014 American Academy of Neurology.