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Keywords:

  • Paget's disease;
  • incidence;
  • epidemiology;
  • secular trends;
  • natural history

Abstract

This study used a large, primary care, record-linkage resource (the General Practice Research Database [GPRD]) to evaluate the incidence, clinical presentation, and natural history of Paget's disease of bone in England and Wales. Between 1988 and 1999, we identified 2465 patients with the recorded diagnosis of Paget's disease of bone, within the five million subjects ≥18 years old who were registered in the GPRD. The validity of diagnostic recording was assessed by questionnaire to individual general practitioners (GPs) in 150 patients; the diagnosis was confirmed in 93.8% of responders. The mean age of patients with Paget's disease was 75 years and 51% were men. The prevalence of the disorder was 0.3% among men and women aged ≥55 years; incidence rates for clinically diagnosed Paget's disease rose steeply with age (men, 5 per 10,000 person-years; women, 3 per 10,000 person-years at the age of 75 years). Over the 11-year period of the study, the age- and sex-adjusted incidence rate of clinically diagnosed Paget's disease declined from 1.1 per 10,000 person-years to 0.7 per 10,000 person-years. Each patient with Paget's disease was matched to three controls matched by age, gender, and general practice. Cases had a greater risk of back pain (relative risk [RR], 2.1; 95% CI, 1.9-2.3), osteoarthritis (OA; RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.9), hip arthroplasty (RR, 3.1; 95% CI, 2.4-4.1), knee arthroplasty (RR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.0-2.6), fracture (RR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0-1.5), and hearing loss (RR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3-1.9). Seven patients with Paget's disease developed a malignant bone neoplasm (0.3%). Using life table methodology, the estimated number of people who died within 5 years of follow-up was 32.7% among the patients with Paget's disease and 28.0% among the control patients.