Duchenne, Becker Muscular Dystrophy Affects 1 in 5,000 Boys in U.S.

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One in 5,000 young boys in the U.S. aged 5 to 9 years have either Duchenne muscular dystrophy or Becker muscular dystrophy, with Hispanic boys having the highest risk of developing the conditions, according to new research published in Pediatrics.

The disorders, which cause progressive severe muscle weakness, have long been thought to be underestimated in the U.S. In order to establish a more accurate assessment of the conditions’ prevalence, researchers assessed medical records for children born between 1982 and 2011 across six states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, and western New York.

Over periods through 1991-1995, 1996-2000, and 2001-1005, one in 5,000 boys aged 5 to 9 years developed either Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy. Among demographics, African American children had the lowest risk of developing the conditions. Duchenne muscular dystrophy was the most common across all periods.

Drops in prevalence could be related to delayed diagnosis and other factors, the researchers said.

Clarity on the prevalence of the conditions in the U.S. will hopefully help people dealing with the illnesses earn more assistance, as patients require constant care. 

muscular dystrophy
Duchenne, Becker Muscular Dystrophy Affects 1 in 5,000 Boys in U.S.

A new study reveals that in the US, around 1 in 5,000 boys aged 5-9 years have either Duchenne muscular dystrophy or Becker muscular dystrophy, providing a better understanding of the prevalence of the two disorders. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form of muscular dystrophy.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Iowa, also found that Hispanic boys are most likely to be affected by the conditions.

Muscular dystrophy describes a group of inherited disorders that cause severe muscle weakness, particularly in the lower body, that gets worse over time.

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