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F Bertuzzi, SA Tedesco, D Cologno, C Giorgi, E Montanari, A Carta; Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (Pseudotumor Cerebri) - Descriptive Epidemiology In Parma, Italy, 1990 to 1999 . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):242.
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Purpose: To ascertain the annual incidence rate of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) in the county of Parma, northern Italy. Method: The population of Parma (approximately 400.000 in 1999) provides an excellent resource for this epidemiologic study, since neurological care of people living in this area is provided entirely by two public and one private hospitals. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed for all Parma residents for whom the following diagnoses were made during 1990 through 1999: pseudotumor cerebri, IIH, papilledema, hydrocephalus, brain tumor, and migraine. The medical records-linkage system of such clinics has been used for screening of IIH cases among a total of 1065 patients. Pseudotumor Cerebri diagnosis was made according to "modified Dandy«s criteria’. Every case underwent a complete neuro-ophthalmological evaluation with visual field examination, neuroimaging study, lumbar puncture and Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation. Results: Ten patients (8 women and 2 men) were identified as IIH during the established period. Age ranged from 16 to 53 yrs (female 36+/-12.1, male 35.5+/-14.8 yrs). The average crude annual incidence rate per 100.000 is 0.25 for the total and 0.39 for the female population. In women aged 15-44 yrs the incidence rate is 0.65/100.000/year. For those females defined as overweight (BMI ≷ 26) the annual rate is 2.7/100.000. Conclusion: The incidence rate herein described is definitely lower (three to four times) than incidence reported in previous USA or Libya studies. Comparing descriptive epidemiology of body weight in U.S. and European female population in the reproductive age groups, a significant difference in overweight distribution is observed. As overweight and obesity are an important factor of contribution for IIH development, it is possible that their low percentage in our female population may partially explain the IIH incidence observed in our study.
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