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Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Belgrade, Yugoslavia


Dr Tatjana Pekmezovic, Institute of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Visegradska 26A, Belgrade 11,000, Yugoslavia
Tel.: +381 11 361 5771
Fax: +381 11 361 5768
E-mail: pekmezovic@sezampro.yu


Objectives – To estimate the distribution of multiple sclerosis in the Belgrade population. Methods– All persons who were affected and/or died from multiple sclerosis (Poser's criteria), with residence in the Belgrade region had been collected from January 1, 1985 to December 31, 1996. Prevalence was adjusted by direct method, using world population. Results– From 1985 to 1996, 823 patients were suffering from multiple sclerosis. Sex ratio was 1:1.9. The mean age at onset was 32.2±9.8 years. A relapsing–remitting course of multiple sclerosis was reported in 50.7% patients, secondary progressive in 36.4% patients, and primary progressive in 12.9% patients. On December 31, 1996, age-adjusted prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Belgrade was 41.5/100,000, 28.2/100,000 for males, and 54.1/100,000 for females. During the period studied, statistically highly significant increasing trend of multiple sclerosis prevalence was observed (P=0.0001). Conclusions– According to findings presented in this study, Belgrade is an area with high prevalence of multiple sclerosis.