Myasthenia gravis in Hong Kong Chinese

Author(s): Yu YL, Hawkins BR, Ip MS, Wong V, Woo E


A territory-wide study of myasthenia gravis (MG) was conducted in Hong Kong. Two hundred and sixty-two Chinese patients (159 adult and 103 paediatric onset) were identified, corresponding to a point prevalence and period prevalence of 53.5 and 62.2 per million respectively, and an average annual incidence of 4.0 per million population. Nine patients died, 7 from MG, giving a case fatality rate of 0.027. Female predominance was present in the whole group of patients (female to male ratio 1.6:1) and in those with adult disease (ratio 2.1:1), but not in those with onset in childhood (ration 1.1:1). Onset of disease was most common in the first 3 decades of life, and became less common in subsequent decades. Juvenile onset MG occurred in 39.3% of patients and restricted ocular MG in 47.9%. Familial occurrence was found in 5 patients. In the 159 adult onset patients, ocular disease was most common (32.7%), followed by mild generalised (29.6%), moderately severe generalised (24.5%), fulminating (11.9%) and late severe disease (1.3%). The mean age of onset of symptoms was 36.7 years. The symptomatology was similar to that of Caucasoid populations. Autoimmune thyroid disease was the commonest associated disease, and the incidence of thymoma among thymic abnormalities was high at 38%.

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