Latinx Patients With Multiple Sclerosis Present With Earlier Disease Onset

Latinx patients with MS as compared with White non-Latinx patients are 5 years younger at disease onset.

Latinx patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to have earlier onset and present with progressive disease or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), compared with their White non-Latinx counterparts, according to study results presented at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held from May 31 to June 3 in Aurora, Colorado.

Despite the Latinx demographic growing quickly within the US, little is known about how MS presents within this population. Thus, in a retrospective, cross-sectional study, researchers aimed to compare the characteristics and presentation of MS in Latinx patients vs White non-Latinx patients.

Patient data were taken from the MS PATHS network, which includes 7 tertiary care centers within the US. Patients diagnosed with MS between 2010 and 2020 who were at least 18 years of age were included. They identified as non-White Latinx, White Latinx, and White non-Latinx.

Clinical, ethnicity, and sociodemographic comparisons among groups were conducted via Wilcoxon rank sum and Fischer exact tests. Multivariable regression models were used to determined age at onset (AAO) and disease course.

Future work should characterize the underlying risk profiles and the natural history of MS in Latinx persons.

Of the 3,335 patients diagnosed with MS during the study period, 7.4% (247 patients) identified as Latinx, with 2.9% identifying as White Latinx, and 4.5% as non-White Latinx. The majority of patients were women and average disease duration was 10.2 years.

Among Latinx patients, AAO of MS was significantly lower than in the White non-Latinx population (31.3 vs 36.3 years, respectively). On average, Latinx patients were 4.8 years younger than White non-Latinx at disease onset.

While disease course was similar between Latinx and White non-Latinx patients, adjusted models revealed that White Latinx patients were more likely to exhibit CIS (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; P =.009). Similarly, non-White Latinx patients presented with progressive disease more often than their White non-Latinx counterparts (OR, 1.5; P =.008).

In conclusion, researchers determined that compared with White non-Latinx patients, Latinx patients with MS present roughly 5 years younger at disease onset. Additionally, as the presentation of CIS or progressive disease may vary among specific racial and ethnic groups, researchers noted, “Future work should characterize the underlying risk profiles and the natural history of MS in Latinx persons.”


Briggs FBS, Harvey T, Fitzgerald KC, Mowrey EM, Cohen JA, and Ontaneda D. Latinx with multiple sclerosis have an earlier onset. Abstract presented at: CMSC 2023; May 31-June 3, 2023; Aurora, CO. Abstract DMX04.