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How common is narcolepsy?

The rate of narcolepsy varies by region, even among developed nations. For instance, in the United States and Europe, about 1 in 2,000 people has narcolepsy. The rate is much lower in Israel, only 1 in 500,000, but much higher in Japan, 1 in 600. The cause of this variation is unknown.

The frequency of narcolepsy in North American is uncertain. However, researchers found that the condition isn't that uncommon in the United States. For every one million people, about 550 will have narcolepsy, and about 14 will be diagnosed with narcolepsy in a given year. Along with sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and insomnia, narcolepsy is one of the more commonly diagnosed sleep disorders in people seeking treatment in sleep clinics.
About one in 2,000 people have some form of narcolepsy. However, many people with narcolepsy do not know they have the sleep disorder. Narcolepsy may run in some families, but most cases are not genetic. The disorder is extremely rare in children.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.