What is the mortality and morbidity associated with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)?

Updated: May 29, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, FAAN; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP  more...
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The mortality and/or morbidity rates of spinal muscular atrophy are inversely correlated with the age at onset. High death rates are associated with early onset disease. In patients with SMA type I, the median survival is 7 months, with a mortality rate of 95% by age 18 months.

  • Respiratory infections account for most deaths.

  • In type II SMA, the age of death varies, but death is most often due to respiratory complications.

  • See Prognosis for more information.

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