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Using referral rates for genetic testing to determine the incidence of a rare disease: The minimal incidence of congenital hyperinsulinism in the UK is 1 in 28,389

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Timothy Cheetham



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2020 Yau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is a significant cause of hypoglycaemia in neonates and infants with the potential for permanent neurologic injury. Accurate calculations of the incidence of rare diseases such as CHI are important as they inform health care planning and can aid interpretation of genetic testing results when assessing the frequency of variants in large-scale, unselected sequencing databases. Whilst minimal incidence rates have been calculated for four European countries, the incidence of CHI in the UK is not known. In this study we have used referral rates to a central laboratory for genetic testing and annual birth rates from census data to calculate the minimal incidence of CHI within the UK from 2007 to 2016. CHI was diagnosed in 278 individuals based on inappropriately detectable insulin and/or C-peptide measurements at the time of hypoglycaemia which persisted beyond 6 months of age. From these data, we have calculated a minimum incidence of 1 in 28,389 live births for CHI in the UK. This is comparable to estimates from other outbred populations and provides an accurate estimate that will aid both health care provision and interpretation of genetic results, which will help advance our understanding of CHI.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yau D, Laver TW, Dastamani A, Senniappan S, Houghton JAL, Shaikh G, Cheetham T, Mushtaq T, Kapoor RR, Randell T, Ellard S, Shah P, Banerjee I, Flanagan SE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2020

Volume: 15

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 06/02/2020

Acceptance date: 14/01/2020

Date deposited: 17/02/2020

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228417

PubMed id: 32027664


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royal society