Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis in the Republic of Moldova

Cristina Marcoci, Vitalie Lisnic, Mihail Gavriliuc, Olesea Odainic, Marina Sangheli, Anna Belenciuc, Maurizio Angelo Leone, Ilaria Casetta, Maura Pugliatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The occurrence of multiple sclerosis (MS) increases in populations featuring both high and low disease burden, and variations across regions at the same latitude are reported. MS epidemiological data in Eastern Europe are scarce and out of date. We report on sex- and age-specific prevalence of MS in the Republic of Moldova. Methods: Benefitting from a nationwide survey aimed to quantify the MS burden in Moldovans (3,559,541 population in 2012), multiple epidemiological sources were scrutinized. Results: On prevalence day, December 31, 2012, 747 MS patients (McDonald criteria) resided in the study area, yielding a crude prevalence of 20.9 per 100,000 (95% CI 14.7-27.1), 25.7 (95% CI 20.5-30.5) in women and 15.8 (95% CI 12.2-19.3) in men (F:M ratio of 1.63), and standardized estimates of 20.2, 24.3 and 15.5 per 100,000, respectively. Prevalence was highest in the age group 40-49 years (43.9 per 100,000) and higher in rural (72.6%) than in urban (27.4%) areas. Conclusions: This is the first report on sex- and age-specific prevalence of MS in the Republic of Moldova, which was lower than in Europe on average, but consistent with that of neighboring countries, Romania and Ukraine. Moldovans represent a population wherein MS natural history is not yet influenced by use of disease-modifying drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 6 2016


  • Epidemiology
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Moldova#

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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