The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in central Italy

Enrico Millefiorini, Antonio Cortese, Simone Di Rezze, Giovanna Barletta, Paolo Bellantonio, Anna P. Batocchi, Giancarlo Di Battista, Stefania Fiore, Claudio Gasperini, Maria Grazia Grasso, Tatiana Koudriatseva, Rocco Totaro, Valentina Durastanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of multiple sclerosis varies considerably throughout the world. Objective: To better define the prevalence of MS in central Italy. Methods: This is a population-based study conducted in the province of Frosinone, which is situated in the Lazio region, central Italy. The selected prevalence day was 1 January 2007. A total of 467 patients, with a definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, were considered for crude, age- and sex-specific prevalence estimation. Results: The overall crude prevalence rate was 95.0 cases per 100,000 (95% confidence interval (CI) 86.6-104.0). A significantly higher prevalence rate was recorded in females (134.9, 95% CI 121.0-150.1) than in males (53.3, 95% CI 44.4-63.3) (p = 0.001). Age-specific prevalence peaked in the 25-34 year, 35-44 year and 45-54 year age groups; moreover, it was found to increase up to the 35-44 year age group in males and the 45-54 year age group in females, decreasing thereafter. The female to male ratio was 2.6. Conclusions: The results confirm that MS occurs more frequently in central Italy than might be expected on the basis of the geographic-related distribution model, thus supporting the view that this is a high-risk area for the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1436
Number of pages5
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • epidemiology
  • Frosinone
  • Italy
  • Lazio
  • multiple sclerosis
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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