Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis in Spain
Introduction. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system and the most common non-traumatic disabling neurological disease in young adults. In the latest decades, multiple sclerosis is increasing worldwide, especially in women. The latitudinal distribution has been progressively attenuated.
Aim. To review the epidemiological studies of multiple sclerosis in Spain to verify if this worldwide trend also occurs in Spain.
Development. We searched PubMed and Teseo databases using the search terms ‘epidemiology’, ‘prevalence’, ‘incidence’, ‘multiple sclerosis’ and ‘Spain’. We selected articles published in Spanish and English between 1968 and 2018.
Conclusions. Recent epidemiological studies confirm that Spain is a medium-high risk area for MS. The prevalence of MS has increased significantly throughout Spain in the latest years, especially in women, and recent studies show prevalence as high as 80-180 cases per 100,000.
Key words. Epidemiology. Gender ratio. Incidence. Multiple sclerosis. Prevalence. Review. Spain.