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Mult Scler. 2009 Nov;15(11):1253-62. doi: 10.1177/1352458509345909. Epub 2009 Oct 5.

High prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the Swedish county of Värmland.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Linköping, Sweden.


Previous epidemiological studies have indicated that the county of Värmland in western Sweden may be a high-risk zone for multiple sclerosis (MS). The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence in the area. Hospital and general practice medical files were scrutinized. The diagnostic criteria of Poser were used, with 31 December 2002 as prevalence day. The prevalence was 170.07 per 100,000 inhabitants. The average annual incidence was 6.39 to 6.46 per 100,000 (1991-1995, 1996-2000). Multiple sclerosis was 2.3 times more common among women than men. There was a variation in prevalence among the 16 municipalities, however it was not statistically significant. The rates seemed highest in the southwestern part of the county, roughly similar in location to findings some 70 years earlier. When the prevalence ratios by geographical units for the county in 1933 were applied to the current prevalence, the distribution from these estimated cases differed from homogeneity with very high significance (p < 0.00001 ). In conclusion, this study supports previous reports indicating that Värmland continues to be a high-risk zone for MS and shares in the diffusion of the disease at the county level which we had presented for the country as a whole.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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