About Rare Diseases

What is a rare disease?

A disease or disorder is defined as rare…

  • in Europe when it affects fewer than 1 in 2000.
  • in the USA when it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans

There are over 6,000 recognised rare diseases in the world and approximately 3.5 million people in the UK and 30 million in Europe are affected.

50% of rare diseases affect children.

Taken together rare diseases may seem prominent, but people with rare diseases often experience a lack of expert knowledge and/or expert care.

Causes of Rare Diseases

80% of rare diseases have identified genetic origins, others are the result of:-

  • infections
  • allergies
  • environmental causes
  • degenerative and proliferative causes

Common Problems of Rare Diseases

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