MGUS is a condition in which monoclonal antibody is found in the blood during standard laboratory tests. It resembles multiple myeloma and similar diseases, but the levels of antibody are lower, the number of plasma cells (white blood cells that secrete antibodies) in the bone marrow is lower, it has no symptoms or problems, and no treatment is indicated. However, multiple myeloma develops at the rate of about 1-2% a year, so it is recommend monitoring it yearly
Kyle studied the prevalence of myeloma in the population as a whole (not clinic patients) in Olmsted County, Minnesota. They found that the prevalence of MGUS was 3.2% in people above 50, with a slight male predominance (4.0% vs. 2.7%). Prevalence increased with age: of people over 70 up to 5.3% had MGUS, while in the over-85 age group the prevalence was 7.5%. In the majority of cases (63.5%), the paraprotein level was <1 g/dl, while only a very small group had levels over 2 g/dl.