Original article| Volume 65, 104018, September 2022

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Rates and patterns of physical activity among Hispanics with multiple sclerosis in the NARCOMS Registry


      • Twenty-nine percent of Hispanics with MS were classified as sufficiently active
      • Hispanics with MS spent an average of 531 minutes per day sitting
      • Hispanics with MS report a median of 3 days per week of walking for 10-minute periods
      • Rates of work, home, & leisure physical activity were similar across racial groups



      Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of non-traumatic neurological disability among adults with an estimated incidence of 2.9 cases per 100,000 Hispanic adults. Hispanics with MS experience disproportionate rates of mobility disability compared to non-Hispanic Whites with MS. The current study aimed to examine the rates and patterns of physical activity (PA) behavior among Hispanics with MS and compare physical activity behavior to non-Hispanic Whites with MS in the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis Registry (NARCOMS).


      NARCOMS registry participants who completed the physical activity questions in the Spring 2015 semi-annual survey were included in the analyses. Self-identified Hispanic and non-Hispanic Whites were compared. Rates and patterns of physical activity were based on the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. We performed a 2:1 propensity score matching for comparing non-Hispanic White and Hispanic participants.


      Of the 6,352 NARCOMS participants in Spring 2015, we included 136 Hispanic and 6,216 non-Hispanic White participants. Among the Hispanic sample, median number of days engaged in vigorous PA was 0 and moderate PA was 1 day. Mean number of minutes sitting per day was 531±266 (approximately 9 hours). Further, a minority of Hispanic participants classified themselves as moderate or heavy active for work (11%), home (24%), and leisure (33%) physical activity. There were no significant differences between participants who identified as Hispanic (n=119) and propensity-matched non-Hispanics White participants (n=238) in demographics, clinical characteristics, or physical activity variables.


      Rates of physical activity were low among Hispanics with MS. This highlights an opportunity for examining the impact of physical activity interventions for improving mobility disability.


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