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Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis in First Nations People of Alberta

  • Lawrence W. Svenson (a1), Sharon Warren (a2), Kenneth G. Warren (a2), Luanne M. Metz (a3), Scott B. Patten (a4) and Donald P. Schopflocher (a1)...

Abstract

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.

RÉSUMÉ: Contexte:

La sclérose en plaques (SEP) serait rare chez les autochtones nord-américains malgré des mariages interethniques fréquents, avec des individus dont les ancêtres étaient européens. Cependant il y a eu peu d'études de population sur ce sujet. Le but de cette étude était de déterminer la prévalence de la SEP chez les autochtones des Premières Nations de l'Alberta, au Canada, et de la comparer à celle de la population en général.

Méthodes :

Les données concernant les patients hospitalisés et les données de facturation des médecins entre 1994 et 2002 comportant un diagnostic de SEP ont été extraites des bases de données de soins de santé du gouvernement de la province d'Alberta. Les individus des Premières Nations peuvent être identifiés parce que le gouvernement fédéral (Santé Canada) paie les primes d'assurance santé en leur nom. La prévalence de la SEP par 100 000 habitants pour les individus des Premières Nations et pour la population en général a été calculée annuellement.

Résultats :

Chez les Premières Nations de l'Alberta, la prévalence de la SEP était de 56,3 par 100 000 en 1994 et de 99,9 par 100 000 en 2002, soit une augmentation de 43,6%. La prévalence en 2002 était de 158,1 chez les femmes et de 38,0 chez les hommes, soit un ratio de 4,2 : 1. La prévalence de la SEP dans la population en général de l'Alberta était de 262,6 par 100 000 en 1994 et de 334,0 par 100 000 en 2002, soit une augmentation de 21,6%. La prévalence en 2002 était de 481,5 pour les femmes et de 187,5 pour les hommes, soit un ratio de 2,6 : 1. En 2002, la prévalence la plus élevée chez les femmes, tant chez les Premières Nations que dans la population en général a été observée chez les femmes de 50 à 59 ans, alors que chez les hommes la prévalence la plus élevée a été observée chez les hommes de 50 à 59 ans chez les Premières Nations et dans la population en général.

Conclusion :

En Alberta, la prévalence de la SEP chez les Premières Nations est plus faible que celle de la population en général. Cependant, cette maladie n'est pas rare par rapport aux standards mondiaux.

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References

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