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Incidence of multiple sclerosis in multiple racial and ethnic groups.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether the incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) varies by race/ethnicity in a multiethnic, population-based cohort.

METHODS

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of more than 9 million person-years of observation from the multiethnic, community-dwelling members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. Incidence of MS and risk ratios comparing incidence rates between racial/ethnic groups were calculated using Poisson regression.

RESULTS

We identified 496 patients newly diagnosed with MS who met McDonald criteria. The average age at diagnosis was 41.6 years (range 8.6-78.3 years) and 70.2% were women. The female preponderance was more pronounced among black (79.3%) than white, Hispanic, and Asian individuals with MS (67.8%, 68.1%, and 69.2%, respectively; p = 0.03). The incidence of MS was higher in blacks (10.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 8.4-12.4; p < 0.0001) and lower in Hispanics (2.9, 95% CI 2.4-3.5; p < 0.0001) and Asians (1.4, 95% CI 0.7-2.4; p < 0.0001) than whites (6.9, 95% CI 6.1-7.8). Black women had a higher risk of MS (risk ratio 1.59, 95% CI 1.27-1.99; p = 0.0005) whereas black men had a similar risk of MS (risk ratio 1.04, 95% CI = 0.67-1.57) compared with whites.

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings do not support the widely accepted assertion that blacks have a lower risk of MS than whites. A possible explanation for our findings is that people with darker skin tones have lower vitamin D levels and thereby an increased risk of MS, but this would not explain why Hispanics and Asians have a lower risk of MS than whites or why the higher risk of MS among blacks was found only among women.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, Pasadena, CA, USA. Annette.M.Langer-Gould@kp.org

    , ,

    Source

    Neurology 80:19 2013 May 07 pg 1734-9

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Child
    Cohort Studies
    Continental Population Groups
    Ethnic Groups
    Female
    Humans
    Incidence
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Prepaid Health Plans
    Retrospective Studies
    Risk Factors
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    23650231

    Citation

    Langer-Gould, Annette, et al. "Incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in Multiple Racial and Ethnic Groups." Neurology, vol. 80, no. 19, 2013, pp. 1734-9.
    Langer-Gould A, Brara SM, Beaber BE, et al. Incidence of multiple sclerosis in multiple racial and ethnic groups. Neurology. 2013;80(19):1734-9.
    Langer-Gould, A., Brara, S. M., Beaber, B. E., & Zhang, J. L. (2013). Incidence of multiple sclerosis in multiple racial and ethnic groups. Neurology, 80(19), pp. 1734-9. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182918cc2.
    Langer-Gould A, et al. Incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in Multiple Racial and Ethnic Groups. Neurology. 2013 May 7;80(19):1734-9. PubMed PMID: 23650231.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Incidence of multiple sclerosis in multiple racial and ethnic groups. AU - Langer-Gould,Annette, AU - Brara,Sonu M, AU - Beaber,Brandon E, AU - Zhang,Jian L, PY - 2013/5/8/entrez PY - 2013/5/8/pubmed PY - 2013/7/3/medline SP - 1734 EP - 9 JF - Neurology JO - Neurology VL - 80 IS - 19 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) varies by race/ethnicity in a multiethnic, population-based cohort. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of more than 9 million person-years of observation from the multiethnic, community-dwelling members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. Incidence of MS and risk ratios comparing incidence rates between racial/ethnic groups were calculated using Poisson regression. RESULTS: We identified 496 patients newly diagnosed with MS who met McDonald criteria. The average age at diagnosis was 41.6 years (range 8.6-78.3 years) and 70.2% were women. The female preponderance was more pronounced among black (79.3%) than white, Hispanic, and Asian individuals with MS (67.8%, 68.1%, and 69.2%, respectively; p = 0.03). The incidence of MS was higher in blacks (10.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 8.4-12.4; p < 0.0001) and lower in Hispanics (2.9, 95% CI 2.4-3.5; p < 0.0001) and Asians (1.4, 95% CI 0.7-2.4; p < 0.0001) than whites (6.9, 95% CI 6.1-7.8). Black women had a higher risk of MS (risk ratio 1.59, 95% CI 1.27-1.99; p = 0.0005) whereas black men had a similar risk of MS (risk ratio 1.04, 95% CI = 0.67-1.57) compared with whites. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings do not support the widely accepted assertion that blacks have a lower risk of MS than whites. A possible explanation for our findings is that people with darker skin tones have lower vitamin D levels and thereby an increased risk of MS, but this would not explain why Hispanics and Asians have a lower risk of MS than whites or why the higher risk of MS among blacks was found only among women. SN - 1526-632X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23650231/full_citation L2 - http://www.neurology.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&amp;pmid=23650231 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -