Prevalence of patients with lysosomal storage disorders and peroxisomal disorders: A nationwide survey in Japan

Mol Genet Metab. 2021 Jul;133(3):277-288. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2021.05.004. Epub 2021 May 12.


Introduction: Lysosomal storage disorders and peroxisomal disorders are rare diseases caused by the accumulation of substrates of the metabolic pathway within lysosomes and peroxisomes, respectively. Owing to the rarity of these diseases, the prevalence of lysosomal storage disorders and peroxisomal disorders in Japan is unknown. Therefore, we conducted a nationwide survey to estimate the number of patients with lysosomal storage disorders and peroxisomal disorders in Japan.

Methods: A nationwide survey was conducted following the "Manual of nationwide epidemiological survey for understanding patient number and clinical epidemiology of rare diseases (3rd version)". A questionnaire asking for detailed information, such as disease phenotypes and medical history, was created and sent to 504 institutions with doctors who have experience in treating patients with lysosomal storage disorders and peroxisomal disorders. Result A total of 303 completed questionnaires were collected from 504 institutions (response rate: 60.1%). The number of patients was estimated by calculating the rate/frequency of overlap. The estimated number of patients was 1658 (±264.8) for Fabry disease, 72 (±11.3) for mucopolysaccharidosis I, 275 (±49.9) for mucopolysaccharidosis II, 211 (±31.3) for Gaucher disease, 124 (±25.8) for Pompe disease, 83 (±44.3) for metachromatic leukodystrophy, 57 (±9.4) for Niemann-Pick type C, and 262 (±42.3) for adrenoleukodystrophy. In addition the birth prevalence was calculated using the estimated number of patients and birth year data for each disease, and was 1.25 for Fabry disease, 0.09 for mucopolysaccharidosis I, 0.38 for mucopolysaccharidosis II, 0.19 for Gaucher disease, 0.14 for Pompe disease, 0.16 for metachromatic leukodystrophy, 0.16 for Niemann-Pick type C, and 0.20 for adrenoleukodystrophy.

Discussion: Among the diseases analyzed, the disease with the highest prevalence was Fabry disease, followed by mucopolysaccharidosis II, adrenoleukodystrophy, Gaucher disease and metachromatic leukodystrophy. In particular, the high prevalence of mucopolysaccharidosis II and Gaucher disease type II was a feature characteristic of Japan.

Conclusion: We estimated the number of patients with lysosomal storage disorders and peroxisomal disorders in Japan. The details of the age at diagnosis and treatment methods for each disease were clarified, and will be useful for the early diagnosis of these patients and to provide appropriate treatments. Furthermore, our results suggest that supportive care and the development of an environment that can provide optimal medical care is important in the future.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Enzyme replacement therapy; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Lysosomal storage disorder; Peroxisomal disorder; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy
  • Epidemiological Monitoring*
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / classification
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Peroxisomal Disorders / blood
  • Peroxisomal Disorders / diagnosis
  • Peroxisomal Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult