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Multiple sclerosis in Västerbotten county, northern Sweden
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för farmakologi och klinisk neurovetenskap, Klinisk neurovetenskap.
2003 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

One out of several distinguishing features of multiple sclerosis (MS) is the epidemiological variation of geographic distribution. Population-based studies on the prevalence and incidence of MS in Sweden have previously been performed only in Göteborg. Another feature of MS is the clinical variation between individuals. To a large extent data on the clinical characteristics of MS come from studies on cases frequenting MS clinics and therefore, may be biased. Also rare are population-based studies of the consequences of MS-related incapacity on socio­economic factors. As for MS aetiology, both environment and genes are involved. Human herpesviruses are often the main suspected environmental aetiological agents.

Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of MS in Västerbotten County for 1 January 1990, the incidence during a 10-year period 1988-97, and the prevalence 31 December 1997; and also to present detailed clinical data including onset symptoms and the disability distribution for the latter two MS populations. Furthermore, we wanted to estimate the prevalence of sick leave, professional assistance, and housing; and also, to study the risk factors for sick leave. In order to investigate the association between MS and human herpesviruses, samples were identified in two regional population-based serumbank registers. This linkage identified samples collected from before MS-onset in 73 MS cases and after MS onset in 161 cases The prevalence and incidence populations were identified through multiple sources. Diagnostic ascertainment, the reliability of clinical data, and additional information were assured from a questionnaire with follow-up interview and neurological examination.

The onset adjusted crude prevalence of MS was 125/100,000 (95% CI: 112-140) in January 1990, and 154/100,000 (95% Cl: 139-170) in December 1997. The increase was mainly attributable to a higher incidence than mortality. The crude incidence rate 1988-97 was 5.2/100,000 (95% CI: 4.4-6.2). The disability distribution in the 1997 prevalence population in Västerbotten was compared to the disability distribution in a Canadian MS population, which has been used for publications on the natural history of MS. One difference from the Canadian studies appears to be the better recognition of cases with more benign disease. Nevertheless almost half of prevalent MS cases aged 18-64 years were fully sick-listed, and one-fourth of all prevalent cases received professional assistance. High disability level was the strongest predictor for sick leave. All MS cases showed signs of past Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. High activity to EBV (EBNA-1 but not VCA) and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) significantly (borderline significance for HHV-6) increased the risk to develop MS.

These estimates show that Västerbotten County is a high risk area for MS. Both incidence and prevalence were significantly higher when compared to estimates from Göteborg. The comparison with the Canadian MS population shows that MS might be a slightly more benign disease than previously recognized. Still, the consequences of MS regarding socio-economic aspects are considerable. We suggest that EBV is a prerequisite for the development of MS. Individuals that will develop MS exhibit an altered immune response against the EBV virus characterised by high activities to EBNA-1 in the absence of high VCA activities, this being most pronounced in the five-year period preceding MS onset. A pathogenetic role is suggested for EBV and remains possible also for HHV-6.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2003. , 52 s.
Serie
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 848
Emneord [en]
multiple sclerosis, epidemiology, prevalence, incidence, onset symptoms, disability, sick leave, professional assistance, Epstein-Barr virus, and HHV-6
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140313ISBN: 91-7305-467-4 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140313DiVA: diva2:1147610
Prosjekter
digitalisering@umu
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-10-06 Laget: 2017-10-06 Sist oppdatert: 2017-10-06bibliografisk kontrollert

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