White Individuals Have Highest Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis in the US

The highest prevalence was seen in those aged 45 to 64 years and the prevalence also increased with each degree of latitude.

HealthDay News White individuals have the highest prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online May 15 in JAMA Neurology.

Michael Hittle, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues calculated the US prevalence of MS in Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White individuals stratified by age, sex, and region.

Researchers identified 744,781 persons aged 18 years and older with MS (76% women and 24% men). The median age group was 45 to 54 years (31%), while 14, 21, 25, and 9% were aged 18 to 24, 35 to 44, 55 to 64, and 65 years and older, respectively. The largest group was White individuals, comprising 77% of patients, while Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic others accounted for 10, 7, and 4%, respectively. The cumulated estimated 2010 prevalence of MS over 10 years was 161.2, 298.4, 374.8, and 197.7 per 100,000 individuals for Hispanic, Black, White, and non-Hispanic other racial and ethnic groups, respectively. The women-to-men ratio was 2.9 overall during the same time period. Regardless of racial and ethnic classification, the highest prevalence of MS was seen in the 45- to 64-year-old age group. MS prevalence increased by 16.3 cases per 100,000 with each degree of latitude in unadjusted prevalence estimates and by 11.7 cases in direct adjusted estimates.

“In the United States, MS has become more prevalent and demographically diverse,” the authors write. “These data are important for clinicians, researchers, and policy makers.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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