Ethnicity and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in east London.
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BACKGROUND: Incidence and prevalence rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) are generally higher in White populations than in other ethnic groups. Relevant studies in the United Kingdom were conducted over 30 years ago. OBJECTIVES: To provide updated ethnicity-specific MS prevalence rates in the United Kingdom. METHODS: Electronic records from general practices (GPs) in four east London boroughs were queried for the number of people diagnosed with MS, grouped by ethnicity, into 5-year age bands. Compared against total registered GP patients in the area (c. 900,000), the age-standardised MS prevalence was calculated by ethnic group. RESULTS: The overall age-standardised prevalence of MS was 111 per 100,000 (152 for women and 70 for men), and 180, 74 and 29 for the White, Black and South Asian populations, respectively. The sex ratios (female:male) were 2.2:1, 2.1:1 and 2.8:1, respectively. CONCLUSION: MS prevalence was considerably lower among Black and South Asian populations, compared to the White population, by 59% and 84%, respectively. However, compared to available data in Africa and South Asia, MS is several times more prevalent among Black people and South Asians living in the United Kingdom than their territorial ancestry.
AuthorsAlbor, C; du Sautoy, T; Kali Vanan, N; Turner, BP; Boomla, K; Schmierer, K
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