Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Epidemiology of Paget's disease in Europe: the prevalence is decreasing.

UNLABELLED: This study estimated changes in the age- and sex-specific prevalence of Paget's disease of bone in six European towns over a 20-year period. Declines in prevalence were observed in this disorder, occurring among both men and women.

INTRODUCTION: To estimate secular changes in the age-and sex-specific prevalence of Paget's disease of bone in Europe, we conducted a second radiographic survey using identical sampling and methods in six European towns where a baseline study was performed in 1978-1979. In addition to these towns, the survey was carried out in two Hungarian centers not included in the initial study.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In each center, a sample of abdominal radiographs of people >or=55 years of age was taken from stored films within the radiology department of the principal general hospital. Radiographs showing the entire pelvis, sacrum, femoral heads, and lumbar vertebrae were studied for the period of 2000-2001. The films were evaluated by a trained observer and a consultant radiologist.

RESULTS: A total of 6935 radiographs (3512 women and 3423 men) were assessed in the eight towns. The overall age- and sex-standardized prevalence rate of Paget's disease was 0.3% with a male/female ratio of 1.5. Prevalence increased with age among men and women rising to 0.8% of men and 0.9% of women >/=85 years of age. The differences in prevalence rate among the European centers were relatively small, especially in women. There was a decline in rates between 1978/79 and 2000/01.

CONCLUSIONS: These European data confirm the decrease in frequency of Paget's disease observed in Britain. These declines favor an environmental contribution to the causation of the disease that requires further research.

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