Purpose: To assess the incidence of Stargardt disease (STGD1) and to evaluate demographics of incident cases. Methods: For this retrospective cohort study, demographic, clinical and genetic data of patients with a clinical diagnosis of STGD1 were registered between September 2010 and January 2020 in a nationwide disease registry. Annual incidence (2014-2018) and point prevalence (2018) were assessed on the basis of this registry. Results: A total of 800 patients were registered, 56% were female and 83% were of European ancestry. The incidence was 1.67-1.95:1,000,000 per year and the point prevalence in 2018 was approximately 1:22,000-1:19,000 (with and without 10% of potentially unregistered cases). Age at onset was associated with sex (p = 0.027, Fisher’s exact); 1.9x more women than men were observed (140 versus 74) amongst patients with an age at onset between 10 and 19 years, while the sex ratio in other age-at-onset categories approximated one. Late-onset STGD1 (≥45 years) constituted 33% of the diagnoses in 2014-2018 compared to 19% in 2004-2008. Diagnostic delay (≥2 years between the first documentation of macular abnormalities and diagnosis) was associated with older age of onset (p = 0.001, Mann–Whitney). Misdiagnosis for age-related macular degeneration (22%) and incidental STGD1 findings (14%) was common in patients with late-onset STGD1. Conclusion: The observed prevalence of STGD1 in real-world data was lower than expected on the basis of population ABCA4 allele frequencies. Late-onset STGD1 was more frequently diagnosed in recent years, likely due to higher awareness of its phenotype. In this pretherapeutic era, mis- and underdiagnosis of especially late-onset STGD1 and the role of sex in STGD1 should receive special attention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness USA, grant no. PPA-0517-0717-RAD (to FPMC and CBH). The study was also supported by the Oogfonds, Retinafonds, Bartim?us Fonds and ODAS that contributed through UitZicht (2015-30). The funding organizations had no role in the design or conduct of this research.
This work was supported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness USA, grant no. PPA‐0517‐0717‐RAD (to FPMC and CBH). The study was also supported by the Oogfonds, Retinafonds, Bartiméus Fonds and ODAS that contributed through UitZicht (2015‐30). The funding organizations had no role in the design or conduct of this research.
© 2021 The Authors. Acta Ophthalmologica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation.