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Prevalence of Essential Tremor in the Faroe Islands: A Population-Based Study

Authors
  • Eliasen, Eina H.
  • Ferrer, Monica
  • Gaini, Shahin
  • Louis, Elan D.
  • Petersen, Maria Skaalum
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuroepidemiology
Publisher
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Mar 19, 2019
Volume
52
Issue
3-4
Pages
227–236
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000499070
PMID: 30889566
Source
Karger
Keywords
License
Green
External links

Abstract

<bold><italic>Background:</italic></bold> No studies of the prevalence of one of the most common movement disorders, essential tremor (ET), have been undertaken in the Faroe Islands. Given the potential for founder effects in the Islands, and the highly genetic nature of ET, the Faroe Islands provide a particularly interesting setting in which to study the prevalence of ET. <bold><italic>Objective:</italic></bold> To estimate the prevalence of ET and study its characteristics. <bold><italic>Methods:</italic></bold> We used a 2-phase, population-based design, screening 1,328 randomly selected Faroese individuals aged ≥40 years. A subsample of 282 individuals who had returned the spirals and questionnaire was selected to participate in an in-person clinical evaluation. Tremor was systematically quantified by a senior movement disorder neurologist with particular specialization in tremor using a reliable and valid clinical rating scale followed by the application of rigorous diagnostic criteria used by tremor investigators internationally. <bold><italic>Results:</italic></bold> The overall crude prevalence was 2.9%. The age-adjusted prevalence was 3.1%. There was an age-associated rise in prevalence; by age ≥70, prevalence reached 4.8%. Twenty six of 27 (96.2%) were previously undiagnosed. <bold><italic>Conclusions:</italic></bold> This is the first population-based study of the prevalence of ET in the Faroe Islands. The estimated prevalence was similar to studies using the same or comparable methodologies.

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