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Neuroepidemiology. 2012;38(3):138-47. doi: 10.1159/000336348. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

High prevalence of major neurological disorders in two Albanian communities: results of a door-to-door survey.

Author information

1
University Service of Neurology, UHC 'Mother Theresa', Tirana, Albania.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are few epidemiological studies on neurological disorders in Albania.

METHODS:

A door-to-door survey was undertaken in two geographical areas (Tirana and Saranda) with different socioeconomic backgrounds. Two random samples of the local population underwent a structured interview to ascertain headache, epilepsy, dementia, parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis, polyneuropathy, stroke and cerebral palsy. Each diagnosis was made using standard criteria for epidemiological studies and was confirmed by history, neurological examination and, where available, the review of personal medical records. Lifetime prevalence ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

RESULTS:

Of the 9,869 individuals screened (Tirana 4,953; Saranda 4,916), 4,867 were males aged 1-91 years (median 39 years) and 5,002 were females aged 1-96 years (median 37 years). Crude prevalence ratios (per 1,000) were: headache 241.9 (233.5-250.3), polyneuropathy 32.5 (29.0-36.0), epilepsy 14.2 (11.7-16.3), stroke 12.4 (10.2-14.6), dementia 9.6 (7.7-11.5), parkinsonism 8.0 (6.2-9.8), cerebral palsy 4.8 (3.4-6.2), and multiple sclerosis 0.3 (0.0-0.6). Prevalence varied with age and gender, with differences across diseases. Except for polyneuropathy (Tirana 39.8; Saranda 25.2), ratios were not different in the two study areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of selected neurological disorders in Albania is higher than in other countries. Differences may be explained by study design, population structure and/or genetic and environmental factors.

PMID:
22433124
DOI:
10.1159/000336348
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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