Student Dissertation

Agency : Systematic Literature Review; Epidemiology; Multiple Sclerosis

Objective : The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review of literature to determine the epidemiological spectrum of MS in the major geographies of the world including US, Europe (UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy), China and Japan, to get an insight about the geographic and demographic trend in the distribution of MS.

Methodology : A comprehensive literature search was performed from February 2017 to May 2017 on PubMed. The keywords used for search were “Epidemiology”, “Incidence”, “Preponderance”, “Prevalence”, “Occurrence”, “Distribution”, “Risk”, “Mortality”, “Survival”, “Frequency”, “Multiple Sclerosis”, “Disseminating Disease”, and mesh terms. The inclusion criteria for the study was all the freely available full text articles, published in English from 2012 onwards for the given specific geographies such as US, Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and UK), China and Japan. Research paper or studies beyond the defined scope and whose focus was not on epidemiology were excluded.

Findings : A total of 1886 studies were initially identified on PubMed, 13 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Majority of studies were conducted to study the epidemiology of MS in the regions of Italy, US, France and Spain. Prevalence estimates were reported in common in studies. The prevalence of MS in US was estimated at 145.7 to 150.2 per 100,000 while that in Italy was 99.4–188.9 per 100,000. The incidence of MS cases was higher in females 6.7/100,000 than in males was 2.7/100,000. The prevalence was also more in females 224.2 per 100,000 and in males was 71.6 per 100,000. A similar trend was seen in other studied geography as well. The A geographic trend was seen in the distribution of MS cases.

Recommendations : There is an increase in the incidence and prevalence estimates of MS over a period of time. The epidemiological rates of MS are the highest in Italy, US and Spain. Females are reported to be afflicted with MS more than males. There is a geographic trend seen in the distribution of MS, showing a high distribution in the northern hemisphere (such as in US, European countries) and low distribution in areas near the equator (China Japan).