How common is APS
This is difficult to gauge as the condition is often under-recognised and undiagnosed and, as yet, there have been no large scale epidemiological studies carried out to provide prevalence data.
However, evidence from small scale studies indicates a conservative estimate of at least 1% of the population – in the UK alone that means over 600,000 people are affected by APS, making the disease more common than Parkinson’s disease and equivalent to multiple sclerosis.
As widespread research has yet to be carried out, we can only base our statistics on smaller studies, but a general approximate guide which can be applied to APS is the 1 in 6 rule:
- 1 in 6 young (under 50) strokes
- 1 in 6 young (under 50) DVTs
- 1 in 6 young (under 50) heart attacks
- 1 in 6 recurrent miscarriages
In recent years, there has been a movement towards international collaboration, and researchers have now joined together to create APS ACTION – the Alliance for Clinical Trials and International Networking. The trials and collaboration will hopefully yield some concrete statistics, and also improve treatment options for patients in the future.
APS can affect all age groups, from infancy to old age, but the majority of patients are diagnosed when they are aged between 20 and 50 years old. It is more common among women – for every two men with APS, there are seven women affected.