Age and sex prevalence estimate of Joubert syndrome in Italy

S. Nuovo, I. Bacigalupo, M. Ginevrino, R. Battini, E. Bertini, R. Borgatti, A. Casella, A. Micalizzi, M. Nardella, R. Romaniello, V. Serpieri, G. Zanni, E.M. Valente, N. Vanacore, JS Italian Study Group

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Objective To estimate the prevalence of Joubert syndrome (JS) in Italy applying standards of descriptive epidemiology and to provide a molecular characterization of the described patient cohort. Methods We enrolled all patients with a neuroradiologically confirmed diagnosis of JS who resided in Italy in 2018 and calculated age and sex prevalence, assuming a Poisson distribution. We also investigated the correlation between proband chronological age and age at diagnosis and performed next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis on probands’ DNA when available. Results We identified 284 patients with JS: the overall, female- and male-specific population-based prevalence rates were 0.47 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.41–0.53), 0.41 (95% CI 0.32–0.49), and 0.53 (95% CI 0.45–0.61) per 100,000 population, respectively. When we considered only patients in the age range from 0 to 19 years, the corresponding population-based prevalence rates rose to 1.7 (95% CI 1.49–1.97), 1.62 (95% CI 1.31–1.99), and 1.80 (95% CI 1.49–2.18) per 100,000 population. NGS analysis allowed identifying the genetic cause in 131 of 219 screened probands. Age at diagnosis was available for 223 probands, with a mean of 6.67 ± 8.10 years, and showed a statistically significant linear relationship with chronological age (r2 = 0.79; p < 0.001). Conclusions We estimated for the first time the age and sex prevalence of JS in Italy and investigated the patients’ genetic profile. The obtained population-based prevalence rate was ≈10 times higher than that available in literature for children population.

Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)e797-e801
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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