Acquired pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) is a rare syndrome characterized by anemia with reticulocytopenia and a marked reduction in erythroid precursors. Given its rarity, the true incidence is largely unknown, and epidemiological data representing the general population, with a description of the full spectrum of etiologies, are scarce. An epidemiological study on PRCA in Japan conducted 30 years ago estimated the annual incidence as 0.3 per million. To update the data, and investigate the incidence and demographics of PRCA, we conducted a nationwide epidemiological study using the JSH Hematologic Disease Registry, a hematologic disease registration database managed by the Japanese Society of Hematology (JSH) and the Diagnosis Procedure Combination (DPC) study data available at a website of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan. A total of 1,055 patients with newly diagnosed acquired PRCA were identified between 2012 and 2019, and the average annual incidence was calculated at 1.06 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83-1.28) per million. The median age was 73 (range 18-99) years. The female-to-male ratio was 1.5:1 and the female predominance was most prominent in the child-bearing age group. Sixty-nine percent of acquired PRCA was idiopathic. The incidence of PRCA was approximately 20% that of aplastic anemia during the same period. Approximately 0.98 patients per million per year (95% CI: 0.89-1.07) required hospitalization for the treatment of PRCA. These results are expected to contribute to the discussion of resource allocation for PRCA in the aging population in many countries, including Japan.
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