Abstract| Volume 37, 101554, January 2020

An Increase in the Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis Has Moved Kuwait to a High-Risk Zone

      The national Multiple Sclerosis (MS) registry continues to assess the change in epidemiological status. The last reported data was in 2012. We aimed to update the prevalence and incidence rates of MS among Kuwaiti nationals
      Cross-sectional study was conducted by extracting data from the national registry. Patients with a diagnosis of MS according to 2017 revised McDonald criteria were identified. Patients with possible MS or other demyelinating disorders were excluded. Population census with a cutoff on 30th June 2018 was obtained from Kuwait Bureau of Statistics to determine the number of people at risk. The crude, age- and sex-specific prevalence and incidence rates among Kuwaiti Patients were calculated.
      1722 MS patients were identified of which 1454 (84.4%) were Kuwaitis. Women represented 66.8% of the cohort with female to male ratio of 2.01:1. The mean age of the cohort was 36.7 ±10.7 years while the mean age at onset and disease duration were 27.2 ±8.8 and 10.1 ±7.3 years respectively. The point prevalence of MS was 104.88 (95% CI: 89.5-121.9) per 100,000 persons, which increased 1.6 times since 2012. Women had a prevalence of 137.1 (95% CI: 129.3-145.3) compared to men 71.2 (95% CI: 65.3-77.6). The prevalence among the age ranges of ≤19, 20–29, 30–39, 40-39, 50-59, and ≥ 60 years were 15.5, 147.8, 271.4, 230.9, 174.4 and 36.9 per 100,000 persons respectively. The incidence of MS was 5.39 (95%CI: 4.3-6.8) per 100,000 persons. The 5-year incidence was 6.4, which has been stable since the last reported rate.
      There is an ongoing increase in the prevalence of MS. According to the Kurtzke geographical distribution, Kuwait is considered a high-risk geographical area for MS. Women had a higher prevalence with a peak among patients aged 30–39 years. The incidence rate has been stable throughout the last 5 years.