Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2022;11(3):96-104. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2022.01093)
Incidence and prevalence of 121 rare diseases in China: Current status and challenges: 2022 revision
Lu Y, Gao Q, Ren X, Li J, Yang D, Zhang Z, Han J
The current study updated data on the incidence and prevalence of 121 rare diseases listed in China's First List of Rare Diseases to provide rationales and references for the development and promotion of rare-disease-related policies. The National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China issued the Rare Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Guide (2019) (denoted here as China's Rare Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Guide). Then 121 diseases were registered with the national rare disease diagnosis and treatment network. The incidence/prevalence of 121 rare diseases varied from country to country. Data are available for a total of 76 rare diseases (76 of 121 rare diseases, 62.81%) in China, including data on the incidence of 23 rare diseases (19.01%) and data on the prevalence of 66 (54.55%). There are data on the incidence/prevalence of 112 rare diseases (112 of 121 rare diseases, 92.56%) at the global level, including data on the incidence of 86 rare diseases (71.07%) and data on the prevalence of 91 (75.21%). On average, the incidence of progressive muscular dystrophies, hyperphenylalaninemia, citrullinemia, and methylmalonic acidemia is over 1/10,000 in China. The prevalence of coronary artery ectasia, congenital scoliosis, retinitis pigmentosa, severe congenital neutropenia, congenital hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, and osteogenesis imperfecta is over 1/10,000 in China. All of these figures are beyond the cut-off of 1/10,000 according to the 2021 definition of rare diseases in China. As registration and investigation of rare diseases continues, the spectrum of rare diseases in some provinces is expanding. Diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, hepatolenticular degeneration, hemophilia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis are relatively prevalent in some regions and cities of China. Registration efforts promote the correction of incidence/prevalence data, development of orphan drugs, coverage by medical insurance, and development of clinical and diagnostic pathways.