The incidence and prevalence of idiopathic intracranial hypertension are increasing in Wales, corresponding to increasing body mass index (BMI) in the population, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in Neurology.
Latif Miah, M.B.B.Ch., from Swansea University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study from 2003 to 2017 to characterize trends in incidence, prevalence, and health care outcomes in the IIH population in Wales. Thirty-five million patient-years of data were analyzed.
The researchers identified 1,765 cases of IIH in 2017 (85 percent female). In 2017, the prevalence of IIH was 76 per 100,000 and incidence was 7.8 per 100,000 per year, which were significantly increased from 12 per 100,000 and 2.3 per 100,000/year, respectively, in 2003. The prevalence of IIH was associated with increasing BMI and deprivation. After adjustment for gender and BMI, the odds ratio for developing IIH in the least versus the most deprived quintile was 0.65. Overall, 9 percent of IIH cases had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts and less than 0.2 percent had bariatric surgery. The IIH cohort had higher unscheduled hospital admissions than controls (rate ratio, 5.28), as did those with IIH and CSF shunts versus those without shunts (rate ratio, 2.02).
“The increasing incidence of IIH, together with the increased health care utilization in individuals with IIH and particularly those who have had CSF shunts have important implications for health care professionals and policy makers,” the authors write.