Post-polio syndrome epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Epidemiology and Demographics

Post-polio syndrome occurs in approximately 25–50% of people who survive a poliomyelitis infection.[1] On average, it occurs 30–35 years afterwards; however, delays of between 8–71 years have been recorded.[2][3] The disease occurs sooner in persons with more severe initial infection.[3] Other factors that increase the risk of postpolio syndrome include increasing length of time since acute poliovirus infection, presence of permanent residual impairment after recovery from the acute illness,[2][3] and female sex.[4]

Post-polio syndrome is documented to occur in cases of nonparalytic polio (NPP). One review states late-onset weakness and fatigue occurs in 14% to 42% of NPP patients.[5]


  1. Jubelt, B (1999). Poliomyelitis and the Post-Polio Syndrome in Motor Disorders. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. p. 381. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jubelt B, Cashman NR (1987). "Neurological manifestations of the post-polio syndrome". Crit Rev Neurobiol. 3 (3): 199–220. PMID 3315237. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ramlow J, Alexander M, LaPorte R, Kaufmann C, Kuller L (1992). "Epidemiology of the post-polio syndrome". Am. J. Epidemiol. 136 (7): 769–86. doi:10.1093/aje/136.7.769. PMID 1442743. Retrieved 24 December 2008. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  4. Atkinson W, Hamborsky J, McIntyre L, Wolfe S (eds.) (2007). "Poliomyelitis". Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book) (PDF) (10th ed.). Washington DC: Public Health Foundation. pp. 101–14.
  5. Bruno RL (2000). "Paralytic vs. "nonparalytic" polio: distinction without a difference?". Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 79 (1): 4–12. doi:10.1097/00002060-200001000-00003. PMID 10678596.

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