Geographic spread

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Geographic spread

Postby bromley » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:09 am

It has been suggested by some that MS may have come from Scandinavia and that's why countries where the Vikings invaded have higher rates e.g. Scotland, Ireland. When I met with Prof Ebers who is looking at MS genes he said this was a bit fanciful and said that MS also occurs in countries such as India. Indeed I have read that rates are increasing in areas such as the Caribbean (as neurologists increase the rates of MS increase!). Canada recently published data showing that those who had migrated there pretty much took on the risk of other Canadians (with the exception of those from Chinese backgrounds). It now looks as if MS is also an issue in the Middle East.

Only of interest for nerds like me, but it also shows that whatever rules the researchers try to impose on this disease, it has a habit of breaking them.

Ian



<shortened url>
User avatar
bromley
Family Elder
 
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:00 pm

MS rates

Postby gwa » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:49 am

It is my opinion that many people do not have access to health care and therefore statistics are skewed for accurate health information. This would be especially true for countries with large populations of impoverished, high doctor to patient ratios, such as in India.

Some research I have read online proposes that the Japanese have low rates of MS. However we lived in Japan for 5 years and I know that the Japanese doctors do not routinely tell the patients what is wrong with them. Lack of medical cataloging would also skew the true figures of MS in a country such as Japan.

gwa
User avatar
gwa
Family Elder
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:00 pm

a thought

Postby notasperfectasyou » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:01 am

I've been reading about CD4+CD25+ T-cells this week and its striking to think that these cells are as important as they are. This thread makes me wonder if there could be a genetic bias towards having better fucntioning CD4+CD25+ T-cells and perhaps such a bias is skewed agaist scandinavian heratige? napay
User avatar
notasperfectasyou
Family Elder
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:00 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Ian, please read...

Postby Lyon » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:10 pm

oo
Last edited by Lyon on Fri May 06, 2011 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lyon
Family Elder
 
Posts: 6063
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:00 pm

Postby LisaBee » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:44 pm

Ian,

It is a very interesting area, and I'm about to sound like a broken record too. I believe Vitamin D has something to do with it, as issues with Vitamin D levels, sunlight exposure, etc. show some correlations. Increasing incidence in areas closer to the equator may, as gwa suggested, be due to increasing quality of health care in those areas, with increasing diagnosis. Or could other changes in lifestyles be playing a role?

One complicating factor on just the vitamin D level angle is dramatically changing lifestyles that result in more and more people, worldwide, spending more time indoors. My mother grew up on a farm, worked in the fields, and walked long distances to the bus stop to go to school and come home, etc - the difference between her childhood and mine was stark. As a pre-teen, I at least played outdoors on a fairly frequent basis. I look around my neighborhood now and I hardly ever see kids playing outdoors for any length of time. The difference between my childhood and kids today is almost as great as the difference between mine and my mother's. In other parts of the world, including the tropics, people have moved from an agrarian existence where they worked outside, to a more urban one, where their work is more likely to be indoors.

I have seen several articles on Vitamin D levels measured in boys and girls in Iran, and how high percentages, particularly girls, are deficient in Vitamin D. Many Iranians live in a sunny climate, but the clothing and lifestyle precludes getting sunlight exposure. Were people's dress and lifestyle different back in the 60s and 70s in Iran? I think so. The young adults in Iran now have were all born after the Iranian revolution in 1979. Below is an recent abstract examining the prevalence of MS in Isfahan, Iran. Isfahan is south of Tehran. The authors say their area is a medium to high risk of MS in relation to the rest of the world's prevalence, which argues against the gradient hypothesis. They have a higher ratio of female: male cases at 3.6 - I don't think it is nearly that high in the U.S. and northern Europe. But if they were to consider the degree of sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels their patients get, how would they compare to people to the north of them? What if they compared Vitamin D levels of Iranian women to men, would that explain why their female:male ratio is so high? Also, if I read the abstract correctly, the prevalence rates (I'm assuming prevalence, not incidence) drop off with increasing age over 40, in the people who reached teens/early adulthood before 1979. Does that have any relationship to the revolution, and the marked changes in lifestyle that may have come with that?

I'm just speculating, and don't want to read too much into this abstract, especially when I don't have the whole paper to look at. The Iranian study may disprove the latitude gradient. But it doesn't disprove the sunlight exposure/Vitamin D level relationship; it may actually support it.

Lisa
^^^^^^^^^^^^
Neuroepidemiology. 2006 Jun 27;27(1):39-44 [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links


Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis in Isfahan, Iran.

Etemadifar M, Janghorbani M, Shaygannejad V, Ashtari F.

Departments of Epidemiology and Neurology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Isfahan, Iran.

Background: The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) shows considerable variability all over the world. According to Kurtzke, Iran is considered to have a low prevalence. Objective: To estimate the period prevalence and risk factors of MS in Isfahan, central part of Iran. Methods: A cross-sectional case register study conducted between 2004 and 2005. In the province of Isfahan, Iran, all patients known to have definite MS during 2004 and 2005, being alive and resident within Isfahan as well as being a member of the Isfahan MS Association were included in the study. Demographic and case-related information was recorded. 1,391 definite MS patients (308 men and 1,083 women) from the Isfahan MS Association, Iran, have been identified. The disease was confirmed using clinical information and MRI findings by a neurologist and radiologist. The patients were evaluated by interview and a questionnaire. Population data were obtained from the year 1999 Iran Census. The mean (SD) age of the participants was 32.5 (9.3) years with a mean (SD) duration of the disease of 6.4 (5.1) years for men and 6.9 (5.3) years for women. Results: The period prevalence of MS was 35.5 per 100,000 [95% confidence interval (CI) 33.6-37.3] in a population of 3,923,255, with a higher rate in women than men [54.5 (95% CI: 51.1-57.8) for women and 14.9 (95% CI: 13.3-16.6) for men]. The female/male ratio was 3.6 (95% CI: 3.2-4.1). The direct age-adjusted period prevalence was 59.5 per 100,000 (95% CI: 44.8-75.2) for women and 17.0 per 100,000 (95% CI: 8.9-25.1) for men. MS rates were highest among 30- to 39-year-olds and decreased with increasing age. Sensory and visual disturbances were the most common initial presentations with a prevalence of 51.1% (95% CI: 48.4-53.7) and 47.0% (95% CI: 44.4-49.7), respectively. Conclusion: Isfahan could be considered as an area with a medium to high risk of MS. This is in sharp contrast with the gradient hypothesis. Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID: 16804333 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
User avatar
LisaBee
Family Elder
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: Florida

Postby Lyon » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:14 pm

oo
Last edited by Lyon on Fri May 06, 2011 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lyon
Family Elder
 
Posts: 6063
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:00 pm

Postby LisaBee » Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:27 pm

I agree there is a gradient in North America Europe, and New Zealand and Australia - although down there it is reversed, with highest in the south.

Different quality of health care in different countries is a confounder when looking at the results - I agree with that too. I don't know what the quality of health care is in Iran. I have read some interesting articles coming from there - they are doing more molecular epidemiology work there than in a lot of other places, and I think they have looked at mitochondrial mutations in MS patients - that was either in Iran or Turkey, I can't remember.

However, IF the gradient is somehow related to intensity of sun exposure, as been hypothesized, then "anomalies" of high incidence in southern Iran do not necessarily argue against the gradient being related sun exposure. Someone who lives in a high intensity sunlight area, but who lives a cloistered life and has limited sun exposure, may have the equivalent sun exposure (or less) than a northern European. I just thought it was interesting that an area with presumed high exposure to sunlight would have a relatively high prevalence of MS, particularly in women - BUT, those women probably don't get a lot of sun exposure due to the Iranian dress code. It's not just where people live, but how people live in that area.
User avatar
LisaBee
Family Elder
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: Florida

Postby Lyon » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:13 pm

oo
Lyon
Family Elder
 
Posts: 6063
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:00 pm


Return to General Discussion

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


Contact us | Terms of Service