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Brain. 2000 May;123 ( Pt 5):968-74.

The age-range of risk of developing multiple sclerosis: evidence from a migrant population in Australia.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.

Abstract

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the Australian-born population in five different regions of Australia has a strong correlation with latitude, the disease becoming increasingly prevalent with increasing south latitude. In this study, the prevalence in the migrant population from the UK and Ireland (UKI) in the different regions also showed a significant correlation with latitude, but this relationship was strongly influenced by the high prevalence in Hobart. Except for Hobart, the prevalence in migrants was considerably less than that in their countries of origin. The prevalence of multiple sclerosis among those migrating before the age of 15 years from the high-risk UKI to lower-risk Australia was not significantly different to that among those migrating at or after that age, and this finding was confirmed in a case-control study which demonstrated little association between age at migration and risk of developing multiple sclerosis. These findings suggest that the risk from environmental factors in multiple sclerosis may operate over a period of many years and not only in childhood and early adult life.

PMID:
10775541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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