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Document Typology: Research
Methodology addressed by the publication:International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
Title of document: The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the world
Name of author(s): G.Rosati
Name of publisher: Neurology science
Language of the publication: English
Language of the review: English
The prevalence studies of MS carried out in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union after 1970 have been recently reviewed by Boiko et al. The interpretation of the data from this vast territory is particularly difficult because of important differences in the ethnic
composition of the populations, the variability in the geographic
and social characteristics of the surveyed areas, the high rates of migration and the poor organization of the epidemiological
studies. Viewed as a whole, the published rates give the impression that the Baltic Republics, Belarus,Ukraine and European Russia, mostly inhabited by Russian and other people belonging to the Slavonic group, have a similar risk for MS. The ranges for prevalences from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine were 25-55
per 100 000 . Similar rates, varying from 24 to 55
were estimated for European Russia.
Reviewer's comments on the document:
In summary, prevalence data imply that racial and ethnic
differences are important in influencing the worldwide distribution
of MS and that its geography must be interpreted in
terms of the probable discontinuous distribution of genetic
susceptibility allelesThese data seem to stress the importance of genetic factors in modulating the geographic distribution of MS.
However, the risk of MS among Russians born or living in the southern former Soviet Union was lower than that detected among Russians in the mother-country, thus confirming the complementary role of environmental factors in determining the geographic distribution of the disease.
Despite the evidence that genetic susceptibility is important
in influencing the acquisition of MS, the role of environment
and its expression in terms of latitude cannot be ignored
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