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Medical risk factors for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) were analyzed in a prospective ongoing case-control study based on European CJD surveillance. Detailed data on past and recent medical history were analyzed in 405 cases and controls matched by sex, age, and hospital. Data were correlated with polymorphism at codon 129 of the prion protein gene. Our analysis did not support a number of previously reported associations and failed to identify any common medical risk factor for CJD. Although not statistically significant, brain surgery was associated with an increased risk of CJD. A detailed medical history should be obtained in every suspected CJD case in order to identify iatrogenic sources of CJD.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of clinical epidemiology

Publication Date





747 - 754


Department of Neurology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany.


Humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome, Prions, Electromyography, Neurosurgical Procedures, Population Surveillance, Odds Ratio, Risk Factors, Case-Control Studies, Polymorphism, Genetic, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Europe