For muscle specialists, it is the most common muscle-wasting condition diagnosed in those who are over the age of 50 but it is sufficiently rare that most general practitioners (GPs) will not have looked after patients with IBM before, and many hospital doctors will not have heard of the condition.
Life-expectancy is not reduced in those with IBM, and the condition usually progresses slowly, over many years. People with IBM experience varying degrees of disability as the condition progresses, and usually require adaptations to the home or work environment, as well as the use of mobility aids.
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