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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 1997 Oct;99 Suppl 2:S1-5.

Epidemiological features of moyamoya disease in Japan: findings from a nationwide survey.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


To estimate an annual number of patients treated for Moyamoya disease in Japan and to describe the clinico-epidemiological features, a nationwide epidemiological survey was conducted in 1995. The study consisted of two questionnaires, which were distributed to departments randomly selected, of neurosurgery, neurology and pediatrics in hospitals throughout Japan. The first questionnaire inquired the number of the patients treated in 1994 and the second one detailed clinico-epidemiological information of each patient reported. Following major epidemiological findings emerged from the study: (a) The total annual number of patients treated for Moyamoya disease was estimated as 3900 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3500-4400) in Japan 1994, with the prevalence and incidence rates of 3.16 and 0.35 per 100,000 population, respectively; (b) the sex ratio (females to males) of the patients was 1.8; (c) the peak of age distribution of the patients was observed in 10-14 years old and a smaller peak in their forties; (d) the age at onset was under 10 years old in 47.8% of the patients, but some had developed the disease at the age of 25-49 years; (e) family history of Moyamoya disease was found in 10.0% of the patients; and (f) about 75% of the patients had normal activity of daily life or working ability even before treatment. The present findings were quite comparable with those obtained in the previous nationwide epidemiological survey in 1990.

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