Funding agencies: This work was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Article first published online: 31 OCT 2012
Copyright © 2012 Movement Disorder Society
Volume 27, Issue 14, pages 1789–1796, December 2012
How to Cite
Steeves, T. D., Day, L., Dykeman, J., Jette, N. and Pringsheim, T. (2012), The prevalence of primary dystonia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Mov. Disord., 27: 1789–1796. doi: 10.1002/mds.25244
Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.
Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 31 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 14 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 14 MAR 2012
- prevalence studies;
- incidence studies;
Dystonia is a hyperkinetic movement disorder characterized by sustained muscle contractions that produce repetitive movements and abnormal postures. Specific information on the prevalence of dystonia has been difficult to establish because the existing epidemiological studies of the condition have adopted different methodologies for case ascertainment, resulting in widely differing reported prevalence. Medline and Embase databases were searched using terms specific to dystonia for studies of incidence, prevalence, and epidemiology. All population-based studies reporting an incidence and/or prevalence of primary dystonia were included. Sixteen original studies were included in our systematic review. Fifteen studies reported the prevalence of dystonia, including 12 service-based and three population-based studies. We performed a meta-analysis on the results of the service-based studies, and were able to combine data on the prevalence of several dystonia subtypes. From these studies, we calculated an overall prevalence of primary dystonia of 16.43 per 100,000 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.09–22.32). The prevalence of dystonia reported in the three population-based studies appears higher than that reported in the service-based studies. Only 1 of the 16 studies reported an incidence of cervical dystonia. This corresponded to a corrected incidence estimate of 1.07 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI: 0.86–1.32). Despite numerous studies on the epidemiology of dystonia, attempting to determine an accurate prevalence of the condition for health services planning remains a significant challenge. Given the methodological limitations of the existing studies, our own prevalence estimate of primary dystonia likely underestimates the true prevalence of the condition. © 2012 Movement Disorder Society