Mercado, V.; Dongarwar, D.; Fisher, K.; Salihu, H.M.; Hutton, G.J.; Cuascut, F.X. Multiple Sclerosis in a Multi-Ethnic Population in Houston, Texas: A Retrospective Analysis. Biomedicines2020, 8, 534.
Mercado, V.; Dongarwar, D.; Fisher, K.; Salihu, H.M.; Hutton, G.J.; Cuascut, F.X. Multiple Sclerosis in a Multi-Ethnic Population in Houston, Texas: A Retrospective Analysis. Biomedicines 2020, 8, 534.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 2 million people worldwide. Increasing knowledge about MS in different populations has advanced our understanding of disease epidemiology and variation in the natural history of MS among White and minority populations. In addition to differences in incidence, African American (AA) and Hispanic patients have greater disease burden and disability in earlier stages of disease compared to White patients. To further characterize MS in AA and Hispanic populations, we conducted a retrospective chart analysis of 112 patients treated at an MS center in Houston, Texas. Here, we describe differences in clinical presentation, MRI findings, treatment regimens, disability progression, and relapse rate. We found that patients who were evaluated by a neurologist at symptom onset had significantly decreased odds of greater disability [defined as Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) > 4.5] at last presentation compared to patients who were not evaluated by a neurologist (OR: 0.04, 95% CI: 0.16-0.9). We also found that active smokers had significantly increased odds of greater disability both at diagnosis and at last clinical encounter compared to nonsmokers (OR: 2.44, 95% CI: 1.10-7.10, OR= 2.44, 95% CI: 1.35-6.12, p= 0.01, respectively). Assessment of the degree of brain atrophy and progression over time along with enumeration of T1, T2, and gadolinium-enhancing brain lesions did not reveal differences across groups.
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