Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Epidemiology

The incidence and prevalence of MDS are increasing1

Estimates of the prevalence of MDS vary between 50,000 and 170,000 people, with diagnostic criteria and reporting limiting more refined estimates. An analysis of 2015 data from the SEER program showed the age-adjusted annual incidence of MDS is estimated to be 4.1 cases per 100,000 people in the United States. This translates to 13,400 new cases of MDS each year.1

MDS are expected to become the most common myeloid malignancies.2

The incidence of MDS increases with age1

MDS are predominantly a diagnosis in older adults, with an incidence that increases progressively with age.

  • The number of patients living with MDS is expected to grow, even if the age-specific incidence rate and survival remain the same

The incidence rate of MDS by age (per 100,000/y)3


Adapted from National Cancer Institute. SEER cancer statistics review 2012-2016: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), chronic myeloproliferative disorders (CMD), and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML).

References: 1. Zeidan AM, Shallis RM, Wang R, et al. Epidemiology of myelodysplastic syndromes: why characterizing the beast is a prerequisite to taming it. Blood Rev. 2019;34:1-15. 2. Kurtin SE. Myelodysplastic syndromes: the challenge of developing clinical guidelines and supportive care strategies for a rare disease. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2012;16(suppl 1):5-7. 3. National Cancer Institute. SEER cancer statistics review 2012-2016: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), chronic myeloproliferative disorders (CMD), and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Available at: http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/browse_csr.php?sectionSEL=30&pageSEL=sect_30_intro.01.html. Accessed February 5, 2020.