Hong Kong Med J 2002;8:77-80 | Number 2, April 2002
Epidemiological study of Chinese multiple sclerosis in Hong Kong: questionnaire survey
KK Lau, LKS Wong, LSW Li, YW Chan, HL Li, V Wong
Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital, 2-10 Princess Margaret Hospital Road, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To study the epidemiology of Chinese multiple sclerosis in Hong Kong.
DESIGN. Cross-sectional questionnaire survey.
SETTING. All neurologists and some paediatric neurologists who looked after multiple sclerosis patients in Hong Kong from January through June 1999.
PARTICIPANTS. All confirmed multiple sclerosis patients.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Demographic data, investigation results, Kurtzke’s Expanded Disability Status Scale during the last follow-up visit, number of relapses between 1997 and 1998, and treatments used/currently in use.
RESULTS. Fifty-three Chinese multiple sclerosis patients were identified. The prevalence was therefore estimated to be 0.77 per 100 000 head of population. This low prevalence was also noted in other multiple sclerosis studies from South-East Asia (range, 0.8-4 per 100 000 head of population). The female to male ratio among the Chinese multiple sclerosis sufferers was 9.6:1, a figure somewhat higher than that reported in the other studies from South-East Asia (range, 3.2-6.6:1). The Chinese multiple sclerosis patients in this study also had a high spinal cord involvement (66%) and a low presence of cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal banding (40%). These findings were different from those in Caucasian multiple sclerosis patients.
CONCLUSION. Chinese multiple sclerosis in Hong Kong has a low prevalence, a high female to male ratio, and a low cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal banding presence.
Key words: Epidemiology; Hong Kong; Multiple sclerosis
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