Epidemiology of AL amyloidosis: a real-world study using US claims data

Blood Adv. 2018 May 22;2(10):1046-1053. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2018016402.


Amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is a rare disease caused by extracellular deposition of misfolded immunoglobulin light chains. This study aimed to provide an up-to-date estimate of prevalence and incidence of AL amyloidosis in the United States. Using claims databases from years 2007 to 2015, adults ≥18 years old with AL amyloidosis were included if they had (1) at least 1 inpatient or 2 outpatient claims consistent with AL amyloidosis and (2) received 1 AL-specific treatment. Prevalence was calculated as the number of AL patients divided by the number of enrollees on June 30th of each calendar year. Incidence was calculated as the number of patients with AL who were disease-free and enrolled with a health plan for 1 year prior, divided by the number of enrollees with enrollment from July 1st of the previous year to June 30th of each calendar year. The prevalence of AL amyloidosis increased significantly between 2007 and 2015, from 15.5 cases per million in 2007 to 40.5 in 2015, an annual percentage change (APC) of 12% (P < .001). The incidence ranged from 9.7 to 14.0 cases per million person-years (APC, 3%; P = .114) with no statistically significant increase. There was an increase in AL amyloidosis prevalence over a 9-year period coupled with stable incidence rates. Although there is no diagnosis code specific to AL amyloidosis and no validated method for identifying this condition using claims data, extrapolating from our data, there are at least 12 000 adults in the United States living with AL amyloidosis, and the number seems likely to rise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light-chain Amyloidosis / epidemiology*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • United States
  • Young Adult