Background: The epidemiology of Moebius syndrome (MBS) is difficult to assess. In the present study, we investigated the epidemiology of MBS in a well-defined population within a precise geographical area. Materials and methods: Our university hospital is the only national referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of MBS. Participants in this cross-sectional study were patients affected by MBS who had been periodically followed by our medical staff since 1998. Most of the patients were referred to our hospital by the Italian Association of Moebius Syndrome (AISMO). Demographic data necessary for study purposes were made available in the AISMO database, updated to April 2018. Subjects were assigned to geographical macroareas that are conventionally used in surveys and epidemiological investigations by the Italian National Institute of Statistics. The rates and prevalence of MBS cases were calculated on the basis of the last available survey of the Italian population. Each study parameter was then calculated with reference to the whole country and macroarea partition. The sex rate and the corresponding prevalence were calculated with respect to the weighted whole population and to the respective sex population. Chi-square analysis was adopted to investigate possible differences among geographical regions and/or sexes. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: One hundred and sixty-four out of 212 MBS patients fulfilled our inclusion criteria. All cases occurred in Caucasian patients and were sporadic. The median age at diagnosis was 3.6 years, ranging from 0 to 55 years; this range was significantly reduced to 0–5 years (median age at diagnosis: 2.2 years) in patients included after 2007. The calculated prevalence at birth was 0.06 cases per 10,000 live births, with an overall prevalence of 0.27/100,000, without any sex or geographical predominance. Conclusions: The prevalence of MBS observed herein, rounded for possible underestimation, was 0.3/100,000 people, without any regional difference in the distribution of cases. Our data confirm the rarity of the disease on a national level.
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