The prevalence of Usher syndrome and other retinal dystrophy-hearing impairment associations

Clin Genet. 1997 May;51(5):314-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.1997.tb02480.x.


The study was undertaken to procure population-based prevalence data on the various types of Usher syndrome and other retinal dystrophy-hearing impairment associations. The medical files on 646 patients with a panretinal pigmentary dystrophy aged 20-49 years derived from the Danish Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) register were scrutinised. The data were supplemented by a prior investigation on hearing ability in a part of the study population. After exclusion of patients with possibly extrinsic causes of hearing impairments, 118 patients, including 89 cases of Usher syndrome were allocated to one of five clinically defined groups. We calculated the following prevalence rates: Usher syndrome type I: 1.5/100,000, Usher syndrome type II: 2.2/100,000, and Usher syndrome type III: 0.1/100,000 corresponding to a 2:3 ratio between Usher syndrome type I and II. The overall prevalence rate of Usher syndrome was estimated to 5/100,000 in the Danish population, devoid of genetic isolates. The material comprised 11 cases with retinal dystrophy, hearing impairment, and additional syndromic features. Finally, 18 subjects with various retinal dystrophy-hearing impairment associations without syndromic features were identified, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 0.8/100,000. This group had a significant overrepresentation of X-linked RP, including two persons harboring a mutation in the retinitis pigmentosa GTP-ase regulator (RPGR) gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome