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Mult Scler. 2011 Aug;17(8):1010-6. doi: 10.1177/1352458511403025. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Multiple sclerosis in Hispanics: a study of clinical disease expression.

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University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Los Angeles, California, USA.



Hispanics living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the United States are not well defined.


To describe the clinical characteristics of MS among Hispanic Whites (HW) in Southern California with those of non-Hispanic Whites (NHW).


We performed a medical chart review to identify all cases of HW with MS (n = 125) who were treated at our institution during a 1-year period. We also identified cases of NHW with MS (100 NHW) treated at those clinics. All HW patients were interviewed to ascertain ancestry including detailed migration history. Disease progression was assessed by ambulatory disability and defined as Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score ≥6.


Compared with NHW, HW were more likely to have a relapsing-remitting form of MS and a younger age of onset (28.4 ± 0.97 years) with presenting symptoms of optic neuritis and transverse myelitis. However, overall ambulatory disability did not differ between HW and NHW. Migration to the US at age >15 years was associated with increased risk of disability in HW.


HW living in the USA may be at risk of developing MS at an earlier age compared with NHW. Migration history can play an important role in the management of HW with MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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