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Risk of death from variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (vCJD) and CJD in the UK

Clinical bottom line

The chance of dying from variant CJD (associated with spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, or mad cow disease) in the UK is about 1 in 12 million in any one year.

The chance of death from CJD of any cause in any one year is about 1 in 750,000.

Data sources

What the sources tell us

Figure 1: Deaths from CJD and vCJD every years between 1990 and 2007

Give us the odds

Figure 1: Annual isk of dying of mad cow disease in UK, or plague in the world

Risk Communication Tool (c) John Paling 2000 (


These risks have been reasonably constant for the last decade and a half. The intricate details of vCJD and its relationship to BSE are outside the scope of this calculation of risk.