Prevalence of ALS Remains Steady in US

person in wheelchair getting support
person in wheelchair getting support
The prevalence of ALS in the United States has been steady.

HealthDay News — The prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was 5.0 per 100,000 persons in 2014, which was unchanged from 2013, according to research published in the issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Paul Mehta, MD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues presented findings from the National ALS Registry regarding the prevalence of ALS for the period January 1 to December 31, 2014, including Medicare hospice data and prevalence rates by Census region.

The researchers found that the prevalence of ALS did not change from 2013, and remained at 5.0 cases per 100,000 persons in 2014. There were no significant increases across age groups. The lowest prevalence was seen for those aged 18 to 39 years (0.5 per 100,000) and highest prevalence was seen among those aged 70 to 79 years (20.0 per 100,000). The prevalence was higher in males than females (6.3 vs 3.6 per 100,000), as in 2013. The prevalence in whites was more than double than in blacks (5.4 vs 2.4 per 100,000). For the four US Census regions, the prevalence was 5.7, 5.5, 4.7, and 4.3 per 100,000 for the Midwest, Northeast, South, and West, respectively.

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“Data collected by the Registry are being used to better describe the epidemiology of ALS in the United States and to facilitate research,” the authors write.


Mehta P, Kaye W, Raymond J, et al. Prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis- United States, 2014. CDC MMWR. 2018;67(7);216–218.