Background: The determination of the incidence and prevalence of rare diseases is important for economists and health-care providers. Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) is a rare, slow-growing abdominal cancer that represents a substantial burden on both patients and health-care systems. The incidence rate was previously approximated at 1-2 people per million per year; this incidence has never been challenged, and the prevalence has not been estimated.
Methods: Epidemiological data from Norway and England were obtained and analysed to calculate a minimum incidence rate based on the number of patients having a first surgical intervention for PMP. A novel method was then used to determine a prevalence rate for PMP, incorporating incidence, death, and cure rates in a multi-year analysis that accounted for the increasing population of Europe over a 10-year period.
Results: An incidence rate of 3.2 people per million per year was calculated, with a corresponding estimated prevalence rate of 22 people per million per year. By this calculation, 11,736 people in Europe were estimated to be living with PMP in 2018.
Conclusion: Incidence and prevalence are essential tools for assessment of the financial and human cost of a disease. For rare diseases, such as PMP, the lack of accurate registries presents a particular challenge in determining such health-related statistical parameters. Based on our calculations, a significant number of people are living with PMP in Europe, underlining the need for appropriate resource allocation to ensure that adequate health-care measures are provided.