Original Article

Updated Prevalence and Demographic Characteristics for ALS Cases in Texas, 2009–2011

Authors: Lindsay Rechtman, MPH, MCHES, Laurie Wagner, MPH, Wendy Kaye, PhD, John Villanacci, PhD


Objectives: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare motor neuron disease with incidence rates ranging from 1 to 2/100,000 person-years. The Texas Department of State Health Services previously conducted surveillance for ALS in three metropolitan areas of Texas. This project provides an update to this research, while expanding its scope to the entire state.

Methods: The Texas Department of State Health Services contacted neurologists throughout Texas to determine whether they diagnose or treat patients with ALS. Those neurologists who cared for Texas residents with ALS between 2009 and 2011 were asked to complete a one-page case reporting form for each patient.

Results: A total of 1422 unique cases were received. The average crude annual incidence rate was 1.30/100,000 person-years and the 2009 period prevalence rate was 2.92/100,000 individuals. Reported cases were most likely to be 60 to 69 years old, non-Hispanic, white, and men.

Conclusions: This project provides an update to previously published Texas-specific epidemiological data regarding ALS; also, we note that our findings are consistent with previously published studies.

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Table 1. El Escorial criteria

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Table 2. Annual incidence rates for ALS diagnosed in Texas, 2009–2011 (N = 976)

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Table 3. Demographic characteristics for reported ALS cases diagnosed or receiving care in Texas, 2009–2011

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