Who is at risk of getting Myasthenia Gravis?

MG affects all races and at any age, but the existing literature suggests that the disease shows a bimodal peak at 2 different age groups. The first group is the young (20-30’s) female patients and the second peak is in the males of the 60-70 age group.

Women are twice more likely than men to be affected by myasthenia gravis in the younger age group. In a Chinese study, it was found that there was a frequent presentation in childhood of the ocular form of MG.

Mothers with MG have a risk of having a baby with neonatal MG at birth, which is due to the placental transfer of maternal antibodies from the affected mother to her child. This can happen in up to 1 in 8 babies born to women with MG. This disease is different to congenital myasthenic syndromes, which is caused by a genetic mutation rather than an autoimmune cause.

A proportion of patients with MG (5-10%) can also have other types of autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid disease (ie Graves or Hashimoto’s disease), rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and pernicious anemia.

Therefore, to summarise:

 ·  MG patients can be of any race and any age

 ·  There is an increased incidence in women aged 20 to 30 years old

 ·  There is an increased incidence in men 60 to 70 years old