Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 Jan; 74(1): 29–32.
PMCID: PMC1738162

Incidence (1988–97) and prevalence (1997) of multiple sclerosis in Västerbotten County in northern Sweden


Objective: To investigate the incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Västerbotten County in northern Sweden.

Methods: Multiple sources were used in the case identification process. Follow up interviews with clinical examinations were undertaken and, when indicated, additional paraclinical investigations were done. In this way case ascertainment was assured and supplemental clinical data were collected. The incidence rate was based on symptom onset. Onset adjusted prevalence was applied.

Results: The crude incidence rate of multiple sclerosis in 1988–97 in Västerbotten County was 5.2/105 (95% confidence interval, 4.4 to 6.2): 6.7/105 (6.0 to 8.3) in women and 3.7/105 (2.7 to 4.9) in men. The onset adjusted prevalence for 31 December 1997 was 154/105 (139 to 170): 202/105 (179 to 228) in women and 105/105 (89 to 125) in men. When compared with a previous estimate of prevalence, a yearly 2.6% increase in prevalence between 1990 and 1997 was found, mainly attributable to a higher incidence than mortality.

Conclusions: The present incidence rate and prevalence confirms earlier findings that Västerbotten is a high risk area for multiple sclerosis. The adjusted incidence was twice as high as the incidence from 1974–88 in the only previous Swedish population based study from Göteborg, but comparable with other recent Fennoscandian multiple sclerosis incidence rates.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (141K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Koch-Henriksen N. Multiple sclerosis in Scandinavia and Finland. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 1995;161:55–59. [PubMed]
  • Svenningsson A, Runmarker B, Lycke J, Andersen O. Incidence of MS during two fifteen-year periods in the Gothenburg region of Sweden. Acta Neurol Scand. 1990 Sep;82(3):161–168. [PubMed]
  • Sundström P, Nyström L, Forsgren L. Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Västerbotten County in northern Sweden. Acta Neurol Scand. 2001 Apr;103(4):214–218. [PubMed]
  • Poser CM. Onset symptoms of multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1995 Feb;58(2):253–254. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Poser CM, Paty DW, Scheinberg L, McDonald WI, Davis FA, Ebers GC, Johnson KP, Sibley WA, Silberberg DH, Tourtellotte WW. New diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: guidelines for research protocols. Ann Neurol. 1983 Mar;13(3):227–231. [PubMed]
  • Edland A, Nyland H, Riise T, Larsen JP. Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis in the county of Vestfold, eastern Norway: incidence and prevalence calculations. Acta Neurol Scand. 1996 Feb-Mar;93(2-3):104–109. [PubMed]
  • Grønlie SA, Myrvoll E, Hansen G, Grønning M, Mellgren SI. Multiple sclerosis in North Norway, and first appearance in an indigenous population. J Neurol. 2000 Feb;247(2):129–133. [PubMed]
  • Midgard R, Riise T, Svanes C, Kvåle G, Nyland H. Incidence of multiple sclerosis in Møre and Romsdal, Norway from 1950 to 1991. An age-period-cohort analysis. Brain. 1996 Feb;119(Pt 1):203–211. [PubMed]
  • Grønning M, Riise T, Kvåle G, Nyland H, Larsen JP, Aarli JA. Incidence of multiple sclerosis in Hordaland, western Norway: a fluctuating pattern. Neuroepidemiology. 1991;10(2):53–61. [PubMed]
  • Celius EG, Vandvik B. Multiple sclerosis in Oslo, Norway: prevalence on 1 January 1995 and incidence over a 25-year period. Eur J Neurol. 2001 Sep;8(5):463–469. [PubMed]
  • Koch-Henriksen N. The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry: a 50-year follow-up. Mult Scler. 1999 Aug;5(4):293–296. [PubMed]
  • Sumelahti ML, Tienari PJ, Wikström J, Palo J, Hakama M. Regional and temporal variation in the incidence of multiple sclerosis in Finland 1979-1993. Neuroepidemiology. 2000 Mar-Apr;19(2):67–75. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...