What is the prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (Lou Gehrig disease)?

Updated: Apr 28, 2014
  • Author: Hidehiro Takei, MD; Chief Editor: Adekunle M Adesina, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) develops with a uniform frequency in major Western countries; the annual incidence is about 2 per 100,000 population. [7] The estimated prevalence is 5 per 100,000 in the United States; approximately 30,000 Americans currently have the disease. Epidemiologic data suggest that smoking may be an established risk factor for sporadic ALS. [8] The peak age of onset is between 55 and 75 years. Men are affected more frequently than women; however, this sex discrepancy is not as pronounced in familial cases.


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