Author Affiliations: Department of Neurology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse (Dr Jubelt); and Department of Physiatry, Howard Young Medical Center, Woodruff, Wis (Dr Agre).
Postpolio syndrome (PPS) refers to new, late manifestations occurring
many years after acute poliomyelitis infection. Over the last 25 years, PPS
has become a relatively common problem encountered by primary care physicians.
A 1987 National Health Interview Survey estimated that about half of the 640,000
survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis in the United States had new late manifestations
of PPS.1 Subsequent studies in the 1990s have
found the occurrence of PPS among patients with previous poliomyelitis to
range from 28.5% to 64%.2-4
The average time in various reports from the acute poliomyelitis until the
onset of PPS is about 35 years, with a range from 8 to 71 years.1
However, it is unclear if the occurrence of PPS increases with aging, which
may be the case based on the most accepted etiologic hypothesis. The large
number of PPS cases presently being seen is probably due to the poliomyelitis
epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s.1
Jubelt B, Agre JC. Characteristics and Management of Postpolio Syndrome. JAMA. 2000;284(4):412–414. doi:10.1001/jama.284.4.412
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