Population-Based Surveillance of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in New Jersey, 2009–2011
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Population-Based Surveillance of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in New Jersey, 2009–2011

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    Background Limited epidemiological data exist about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the United States (US). The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry maintains the National ALS Registry and funded state and metropolitan surveillance projects to obtain reliable, timely information about ALS in defined geographic areas. Methods Neurologists submitted case reports for ALS patients under their care between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011 who were New Jersey residents. A medical record verification form and electromyogram (EMG) report were requested for a sample of case reports. Incidence rates were standardized to the 2000 US Standard Population. Results The average crude annual incidence rate was 1.87 per 100,000 person-years, the average age-adjusted annual incidence rate was 1.67 per 100,000 person-years, and the point prevalence rate on December 31, 2011 was 4.40 per 100,000 persons. Average annual incidence rates and point prevalence rates were statistically higher for men compared with women; Whites compared with Blacks/African Americans and Asians; and non-Hispanics compared with Hispanics. Conclusions The project findings contribute new, population-based, state-specific information to epidemiological data regarding ALS. The findings are generally consistent with previously published surveillance studies conducted in the US and abroad.
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