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Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an X-linked recessive condition is maternally inherited in two-thirds of affected boys. It is important to establish carrier status of female relatives to restore reproductive confidence for non-carriers and facilitate reproductive options and cardiac surveillance for carriers. This study investigates disease incidence within an Australian model of cascade screening and evolving genetic diagnostic technologies. A retrospective population-based cohort study of all genetically and/or histopathologically confirmed males with DMD, born in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory was undertaken from 2002-2012. Cases were identified using state-wide molecular laboratory and clinical databases. The annual disease incidence and "theoretically" preventable cases were extrapolated over the study period. Proband genotype/phenotype, pedigree analysis, carrier-risk and extent of cascade screening were also determined. The cumulative incidence of disease was 19.7 per 100,000 male live births and 1 in 5076 live born males were diagnosed with DMD. Differences in disease incidence were not statistically different when compared between 2002-2007 and 2008-2012 (incidence rate ratio = 1.13, 95% CI 0.76-1.69, p = 0.52). The incidence rate ratio of theoretically preventable cases did not significantly change between 2002-2007 and 2008-2012 (incidence rate ratio = 2.07, 95% CI 0.58-9.21, p = 0.23). Current diagnostic and cascade screening models have limitations in their impact on disease incidence, due to a spectrum of logistical, patient and condition related factors. Innovative approaches to reduce DMD incidence may be better achieved by preconception or early pregnancy carrier screening, prenatal exome sequencing and newborn screening.© 2022. The Author(s).


Didu Kariyawasam, Arlene D'Silva, David Mowat, Jacqui Russell, Hugo Sampaio, Kristi Jones, Peter Taylor, Michelle Farrar. Incidence of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the modern era; an Australian study. European journal of human genetics : EJHG. 2022 Jun 27

PMID: 35754057

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