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Data Summary Explores Prevalence of ALS in the US

A recent news release issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that according to the first data summary released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, about 4 in 100,000 individuals live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the US.

The report appears in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The release notes that the report displays data from the National ALS Registry, which it designates it as “the only known data that identifies all ALS cases among individuals living in the US.”

The MMWR report’s findings address a time period running from October 19, 2010, through December 31, 2011 and indicate that a total of 12,187 individuals were identified with ALS (based on 2011 Census data). The findings also suggest that overall, ALS was more common among Caucasians, males, non-Hispanics, and individuals aged 60 to 69 years old. Caucasian men and women were twice as likely to have ALS as African American men and women, the findings say, and males had a higher rate of ALS than females across all racial groups.

The release also states that health officials do not track ALS yearly in the same manner as other diseases and conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes in the US, with the exception of Massachusetts. Individuals with ALS who register through the National ALS Registry can complete brief surveys that may pave the way to an improved understanding of potential risk factors for the disease, the release adds, such as genetics, environmental, and occupational exposures.

Source: CDC