High incidence and increasing prevalence of multiple sclerosis in British Columbia, Canada: findings from over two decades (1991–2010)

Elaine Kingwell, Feng Zhu, Ruth Ann Marrie, John D. Fisk, Christina Wolfson, Sharon Warren, Joanne Profetto-McGrath, Lawrence W. Svenson, Nathalie Jette, Virender Bhan, B. Nancy Yu, Lawrence Elliott, Helen Tremlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

Province-wide population-based administrative health data from British Columbia (BC), Canada (population: approximately 4.5 million) were used to estimate the incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) and examine potential trends over time. All BC residents meeting validated health administrative case definitions for MS were identified using hospital, physician, death, and health registration files. Estimates of annual prevalence (1991–2008), and incidence (1996–2008; allowing a 5-year disease-free run-in period) were age and sex standardized to the 2001 Canadian population. Changes over time in incidence, prevalence and sex ratios were examined using Poisson and log-binomial regression. The incidence rate was stable [average: 7.8/100,000 (95 % CI 7.6, 8.1)], while the female: male ratio decreased (p = 0.045) but remained at or above 2 for all years (average 2.8:1). From 1991–2008, MS prevalence increased by 4.7 % on average per year (p < 0.001) from 78.8/100,000 (95 % CI 75.7, 82.0) to 179.9/100,000 (95 % CI 176.0, 183.8), the sex prevalence ratio increased from 2.27 to 2.78 (p < 0.001) and the peak prevalence age range increased from 45–49 to 55–59 years. MS incidence and prevalence in BC are among the highest in the world. Neither the incidence nor the incidence sex ratio increased over time. However, the prevalence and prevalence sex ratio increased significantly during the 18-year period, which may be explained by the increased peak prevalence age of MS, longer survival with MS and the greater life expectancy of women compared to men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2352-2363
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume262
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Administrative health data
  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prevalence
  • Sex ratio

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'High incidence and increasing prevalence of multiple sclerosis in British Columbia, Canada: findings from over two decades (1991–2010)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this