Occurrence and Transmission
Classic CJD has been recognized since the early 1920s. The most common form of classic CJD is believed to occur sporadically, caused by the spontaneous transformation of normal prion proteins into abnormal prions. This sporadic disease occurs worldwide, including the United States, at a rate of roughly 1 to 1.5 cases per 1 million population per year, although rates of up to two cases per million are not unusual. The risk of CJD increases with age, and in persons aged over 50 years of age, the annual rate is approximately 3.4 cases per million.
Whereas the majority of cases of CJD (about 85%) occur as sporadic disease, a smaller proportion of patients (5-15%) develop CJD because of inherited mutations of the prion protein gene. These inherited forms include Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Deaths and Age-Adjusted Death Rate, United States, 1979-2016*
* Deaths obtained from the multiple cause-of-death data for 1979-1998 are based on ICD-9 codes, and those beginning in 1999 are based on ICD-10 codes with available computerized literal death certificate data. Death information was also obtained from other surveillance mechanisms; data include familial prion diseases. Rates are adjusted to the US standard 2000 projected population.
|Year||Deaths (approximate)||Age-adjusted death rate|