Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common immune mediated disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). This study compares the worldwide occurrence and epidemiologic burden of MS in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region and Western Europe from 1990 to 2017.
This study used data from the global burden of disease (GBD) studies. Initially, all age and age-specific values were estimated and then, these values were compared among the mentioned areas. In addition, the changes of sex distribution of MS according to incidence, prevalence, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were calculated. The trend of MS incidence was also compared among the MENA region countries.
According to MS incidence per 100,000 populations during 1990 to 2017, the occurrence of new cases has decreased slightly in the world (from 0.7 to 0.65) and Western Europe (from 2.55 to 2.50). Except Iran with a sharp rise of 2 to 2.8, there was a slow increase in the MENA region (from 0.9 to 1). The MS prevalence, between 1990 and 2017, in all ages was stable in the world and the MENA region except a steady increase in Iran and highest value in Western Europe. In this study, we determined the age-specific incidence of MS in all regions from 1990 to 2017. Although data showed a different trend of changes between age groups and regions, the group age 25-29 years had the highest risk of MS incidence. Based on gender, the incidence, prevalence, and DALY of MS in all regions were higher in female.
From 1990 to 2017, Western Europe had the highest MS prevalence and the MENA region had a relatively stable trend for MS incidence. In particular, in Iran, the MS incidence has been constantly increasing and has surpassed Western Europe since 2013.

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