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Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in first nations people of Alberta. Open Access
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Svenson, L. W.
Warren, K. G.
Metz, L. M.
Patten, S. B.
Schopflocher, D. P.
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- Journal Article (Published)
BACKGROUND: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is reported to be uncommon among North American aboriginals despite frequent intermarriage with people of European ancestry, but few population-based studies have been conducted. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of MS among First Nations aboriginal people in Alberta, Canada compared to the general population. METHODS: All hospital in-patient and physician fee-for-service records between 1994 and 2002 where a diagnosis of MS was mentioned were extracted from government health databases in the province of Alberta. First Nations people can be identified since the federal government (Health Canada) pays health care insurance premiums on their behalf. Multiple Sclerosis prevalence per 100,000 population for both First Nations people and the general population of Alberta were calculated for each year during this time span. RESULTS: Among First Nations in Alberta, MS prevalence was 56.3 per 100,000 in 1994 and 99.9 per 100,000 in 2002, an increase of 43.6%. In 2002 prevalence was 158.1 and 38.0 for females and males respectively, a female to male ratio of 4.2:1. Multiple Sclerosis prevalence among the general population of Alberta was 262.6 per 100,000 in 1994 and 335.0 per 100,000 in 2002, an increase of 21.6%. In 2002 prevalence was 481.5 and 187.5 for females and males respectively, a female to male ratio of 2.6:1. Peak prevalence for both First Nations and general population females in 2002 was age 50-59, also 50-59 for both First Nations and general population males. CONCLUSION: While MS prevalence in First Nations people is lower than in the general population of Alberta, it is not rare by worldwide standards.
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- © 2007 Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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Svenson, L. W., Warren, S., Warren, K. G., Metz, L. M., Patten, S. B., & Schopflocher, D. P. (2007). Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in first nations people of Alberta. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 34(2), 175-180.
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