The long term outlook (prognosis) for each person with myotonic dystrophy (including life expectancy) may depend on the type of myotonic dystrophy, the specific medical problems present and the severity of the condition. Although evidence is limited, life expectancy appears to be reduced for people with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) who have onset in childhood or adulthood. The most common causes of death in people with DM1 are respiratory and cardiac (heart) diseases. An increased risk of death may be associated with younger age of onset, more severe muscle weakness, and cardiac arrhythmia. People with mild DM1 who have cataracts and mild myotonia may have a normal life span.
Definitive information about prognosis in people with myotonic dystrophy type 2 is limited, but the condition generally runs a milder course, with little reduction in life span.
Last updated: 3/12/2014
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