SSc more common in UK than previously thought
medwireNews: Results of a nationwide study suggest that the incidence and prevalence of systemic sclerosis (SSc) in the UK may be higher than previous estimates suggest.
Using a large UK primary care database, Fiona Pearce and colleagues from the University of Nottingham estimated that the overall annual incidence of adult SSc was 22.8 per million person–years between 1994 and 2013, which they say is more than four times higher than estimates from the 1980s.
Similarly, the overall annual incidence of SSc was 2.9 per million person–years among children in 1994–2013, an estimate that was 10-fold higher than that reported in a 2010 study. The incidence of SSc did not change significantly between 1994 and 2013 in the present study.
Moreover, the overall prevalence of SSc in 2013 was 307 per million people, up from a previous estimated prevalence of 8.4 per million people in a 2004 study.
The current estimates for incidence and prevalence are “higher than previously reported in the UK but similar to other recent USA and European estimates,” write Pearce and team in Clinical Rheumatology.
The lower rates reported previously are likely to be “caused by under-estimation of cases” due to reliance on physician reports, which are “not as reliable as prospectively recorded diagnoses in the patient’s general practice record,” they say.
The researchers also predicted that there will be a 24% increase in the number of new SSc cases in the UK over the next 20 years, along with a 26% increase in the number of people living with the disease.
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