Capture-recapture techniques have been increasingly employed, over the past few years, in medicine, in order to overcome the limits of epidemiological studies of population based on death certificates, registries and surveillance. As a first-ever application of such methods to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), we estimated the 1980 through 1990 prevalence rate of that disease in the city of Rome. Cases of MS recorded by multiple sources, namely two different University clinical centers and one patient association, were considered. Ascertainment of corrected rates included the confrontation of all possible combinations of sources and the application of log-linear analysis principles. We counted a total of 565 patients (360 females and 205 males). The application of log-linear analysis gave an estimate of 1226 cases (SE = 98), which corresponded to a period prevalence rate of 41.3 per 100.000 (95% C.I. 34.7-47.7). These figures are comparable to those observed in other communities, at a similar latitude, in traditional studies. Our estimate appears therefore worthy, in the absence of other data on the same urban area. Capture-recapture methods represent an useful way of studying the prevalence of chrome diseases and of monitoring the same index in different periods of time.
|Journal||Nuova Rivista di Neurologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology