Global trends in incidence and prevalence of achalasia, 1925-2021: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

United European gastroenterology journal

BACKGROUND: Achalasia poses a significant socioeconomic burden, yet global trends remain undocumented. This study aims to describe the worldwide trends in the incidence and prevalence of achalasia from 1925 to 2021 and explore their correlation with various factors through a comprehensive systematic review.METHODS: We searched the PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases from inception to 30 June 2023, to identify studies reporting the incidence or prevalence of achalasia in the general population. This study utilized pooled estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) to estimate the incidence and prevalence of achalasia, and conducted various subgroup analyses.RESULTS: A total of 26 eligible studies covering approximately 269 million participants and 20,873 patients from 14 countries across five continents were included. Global pooled incidence and prevalence of achalasia were estimated to be 0.78 cases per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 0.64-0.93; number of studies, 26; sample population, 269,315,171) and 10.82 cases per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 8.15-13.48; number of studies, 14; sample population, 192,176,076), respectively. The incidence of achalasia was higher in Oceania (than Asia and Africa) and in adults (than children) after the introduction of the Chicago classification. Prevalence followed a similar pattern. The pooled incidence of achalasia showed an overall upward trend from 1925 to 2021 (1925-1999; 0.40 [0.32-0.49] vs. 2018-2021; 1.64 [1.33-1.95] cases per 100,000 person-years).CONCLUSIONS: The incidence and prevalence of achalasia have notably increased, particularly with advancements in diagnosis, and show significant variation worldwide, despite the large heterogeneity within the sample population. Further studies are necessary to accurately assess the global incidence and prevalence of achalasia.

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United European gastroenterology journal
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