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Epidemiology of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are relatively rare and occur in less than 1% of the general population.

Incidence and Prevalence: AVMs are present at birth, but they are often not detected until symptoms appear later in life. The incidence of detection is estimated to be around 1 in every 100,000 people per year. The overall prevalence is believed to be around 18 per 100,000 individuals.

Age: AVMs can be found at any age, but symptoms usually first appear between the ages of 10 and 40. They are rarely diagnosed in infants and elderly adults.

Sex: Both sexes are equally affected by AVMs. However, hemorrhage due to AVM rupture is reportedly more common in females.

Race and Ethnicity: There’s limited information regarding the distribution of AVMs among different races and ethnicities. Some studies suggest that certain populations may have a higher incidence, but these findings are not definitive.

Risk of Hemorrhage: The annual risk of hemorrhage in patients with untreated AVMs is estimated to be around 2-4% per year. The cumulative lifetime risk varies depending on the age at which the AVM is discovered.

Mortality and Morbidity: Hemorrhage is the most serious complication of AVMs and can result in significant neurological deficits or death. The mortality rate after an AVM rupture is estimated to be around 10-15%, and morbidity (disability) rates are much higher.

The epidemiology of AVMs underscores the importance of their early detection and appropriate management. With proper treatment, the risks of hemorrhage and the associated neurological damage can be significantly reduced.