MONDAY, Nov. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In 2015, the prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the United States was 5.2 per 100,000 population, with 16,583 cases identified, according to research published in the Nov. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Paul Mehta, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues presented the findings of the National ALS Registry regarding the prevalence of ALS in the United States for Jan. 1, to Dec. 31, 2015.

The researchers estimated the prevalence of ALS cases was 5.2 per 100,000 population, with a total of 16,583 cases identified in 2015. These findings were similar to the prevalence identified in 2014 (5.0 per 100,000; 15,927 cases). The prevalence rates by patient characteristics (most common in whites, men, and persons aged ≥60 years) and U.S. Census regions were consistent with demographics of ALS, with no change seen from the 2014 to 2015 calendar years.

“The establishment of the National ALS Registry and the National ALS Biorepository fills an important scientific gap by providing estimates of prevalence of this disease and facilitates further study of risk factors and etiology,” the authors write.

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