Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60,
October 2009 Abstract Supplement

The 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting
Philadelphia October 16-21, 2009.

An Epidemiological Study of the Prevalence of Systemic Sclerosis in South East Norway

Hoffmann-Vold,  Anna-M., Midtvedt,  Oyvind, Garen,  Torhild, Gran Sr,  Jan Tore


SSc is a rare disease and, consequently, it has been difficult to conduct population-based studies revealing its true prevalence. Norway is a relatively small country and its population is homogenous. Potentially noxious environmental factors are rare, with hardly any industry or mines. This could indicate epidemiological differences to other investigated populations.


The purpose of the study was to estimate the prevalence of SSc in Norway and to compare this to that of other countries.


The department of Rheumatology at the Oslo University Hospital (Rikshospitalet) is a highly specialized unit for connective tissue diseases and is a referral unit for South East Norway with a population of 2 672 951 inhabitants. All patients meeting either ACR criteria or the modified Medsger and LeRoy criteria for SSc are recorded in a database which was reviewed. 180 such cases were found.


The median age of SSc patients in Southeast Norway was 57 yr. (19–87 yr.), for women 56 yr., compared to 59 yr. for men. The female: male ratio was 3.6:1, the overall ratio for lSSc: dSSc was 2.8:1 (women 3.5:1, men 1.4:1).

The unadjusted prevalence of SSc was 6.7 per 100.000 (2.9 for male and 10.5 for female). The prevalence by subtype and age group is shown in Table 1 and 2.

Table 1. Population prevalence per 100.000 for Southeast Norway by SSc subtype

Limited SSc231.71108.21335.0
Diffuse SSc161.2312.3471.8

Table 2. Prevalence of SSc by age group

Age groupSoutheast Norwegian populationNumber of SSc per groupPrevalence per 100.000


The overall prevalence of SSc was estimated to 6.7 per 100.000 which compared to other investigated countries was remarkably low. This can indicate differences due to geographic, climatic and social factors, which strengthens the need for further investigations.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Hoffmann-Vold, Anna-M., Midtvedt, Oyvind, Garen, Torhild, Gran Sr, Jan Tore; An Epidemiological Study of the Prevalence of Systemic Sclerosis in South East Norway [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60 Suppl 10 :1732
DOI: 10.1002/art.26806

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