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Usher syndrome in the city of Birmingham—prevalence and clinical classification


AIMS To estimate the prevalence of Usher syndrome in the city of Birmingham, and to establish a database of patients who have been classified into different clinical subtypes essential for future gene mutation analysis.

METHODS Symptomatic cases of Usher syndrome (US) resident in the city of Birmingham in June 1994 were ascertained through multiple sources. Ophthalmic and audiological reassessment together with examination of medical records and patient questionnaires allowed classification of three subtypes, US 1, US 2, and US 3. In addition, family pedigrees were examined and blood was taken from index patients for DNA extraction.

RESULTS In the population aged over 15 years the prevalence was 6.2 per 100 000 population for all US subtypes. The prevalence for US 1 and US 2 was 5.3 per 100 000 population. This is greater than previously reported. In the age group 30–49 years the prevalence approached 1 in 10 000. Clinical classification found 33% US 1, 47% US 2, and 20% US 3.

CONCLUSION This higher prevalence rate and greater frequency of US 2 and US 3 may reflect a more complete ascertainment.

  • Usher syndrome
  • deafness
  • pigmentary retinopathy

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