Peak functional ability and age at loss of ambulation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

The UK Northstar Clinical Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To correlate the North Star Ambulatory Assessment (NSAA) and timed rise from floor (TRF) recorded at age of expected peak with age at loss of ambulation (LOA) in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Method: Male children with DMD enrolled in the UK North Start Network database were included according to the following criteria: follow-up longer than 3 years, one NSAA record between 6 years and 7 years 6 months (baseline), at least one visit when older than 8 years. Data about corticosteroid treatment, LOA, genotype, NSAA, and TRF were analysed. Age at LOA among the different groups based on NSAA and TRF was determined by log-rank tests. Cox proportional hazard models were used for multivariable analysis. Results: A total of 293 patients from 13 different centres were included. Mean (SD) age at first and last visit was 5 years 6 months (1 year 2 months) and 12 years 8 months (2 years 11 months) (median follow-up 7 years 4 months). Higher NSAA and lower TRF at baseline were associated with older age at LOA (p<0.001). Patients scoring NSAA 32 to 34 had a probability of 0.61 of being ambulant when older than 13 years compared with 0.34 for those scoring 26 to 31. In multivariable analysis, NSAA, TRF, and corticosteroid daily regimen (vs intermittent) were all independently associated with outcome (p=0.01). Interpretation: Higher functional abilities at peak are associated with older age at LOA in DMD. This information is important for counselling families. These baseline measures should also be considered when designing clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-988
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022


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