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Incidence of Guillain–Barré syndrome in Alberta, Canada: an administrative data study


Background: To examine the epidemiology of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in Alberta between 1994 and 2004 with data derived from hospital administration procedures.

Methods: Data from 3 959 857 individuals (1 956 841 females and 2 003 016 males) aged 1–110 years and residing in Alberta, Canada, were included in the analysis. A Poisson regression analysis was performed to determine the predictors of GBS events.

Results: After age and sex standardisation to the 2001 Canadian census population, incidence rates ranged from 0.97 to 2.32 per 100 000 over the course of the 11-year period, with a mean incidence of 1.6 per 100 000. Significant effects of gender, age group and year were found. Males were found to be 1.5 times more likely to acquire GBS than females. Relative to those in their first decade, the risk of acquiring GBS increased with advancing age, whereby the incidence in males peaked in the 7th decade of life and in females in the 8th decade of life. The incidence fluctuated over the 11-year period, with a minimum in 1998 and a maximum in 2004.

Conclusions: The incidence of GBS in Alberta between 1994 and 2004 fluctuated within a narrow range, was similar to that previously reported worldwide, demonstrated a male preponderance and increased in elderly patients.

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