Document Detail

Geographical clustering of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in South-East England: a population study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19039239     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of motor neurons that causes progressive paralysis and eventually results in death from respiratory failure. Environmental factors that trigger ALS might result in a pattern of geographical clustering of cases. We tested this hypothesis using the South-East England ALS population register, which covers south-east London, Kent and parts of neighbouring counties.
METHODS: The register's catchment area was divided into postcode districts and sectors. The expected rates of ALS (adjusted for age and sex) were compared with the observed rates using a standardised residuals method and the SaTScan programme.
RESULTS: There were 406 cases of ALS identified in the catchment area during the study period. Four of the 126 postcode districts, all in Greater London, had residuals >2.5 SDs from the mean. Similarly, there were 15 postcode sectors (out of 420) that had residuals >1.96 SDs from the mean. Nine of these were in Greater London. SaTScan identified an area that had a 5.61-km radius in which the relative risk of ALS was 1.70 (p = 0.012). This area overlapped with the postcode districts and some of the sectors identified using the residuals method.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest an excess of ALS cases in some postcode districts in south-east England.
Kirsten M Scott; Kumar Abhinav; Biba R Stanton; Clare Johnston; Martin R Turner; Mary-Ann Ampong; Mohamed Sakel; Richard W Orrell; Robin Howard; Christopher E Shaw; P Nigel Leigh; Ammar Al-Chalabi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-11-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroepidemiology     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1423-0208     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuroepidemiology     Publication Date:  2009  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-02-12     Completed Date:  2009-12-07     Revised Date:  2014-02-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8218700     Medline TA:  Neuroepidemiology     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  81-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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MeSH Terms
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diagnosis,  epidemiology*
Cluster Analysis
England / epidemiology
Registries / statistics & numerical data
Risk Factors
Grant Support
G0500289//Medical Research Council; G0701923//Medical Research Council; //Medical Research Council

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