Pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis in African-American black and European-origin white patients

Pediatr Neurol. 2009 Jan;40(1):31-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2008.09.004.

Abstract

Pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis is now recognized, but the association with ethnicity has not been well studied. In a retrospective review at a major teaching facility, 46 pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis patients were identified; of these, 24 were African-American black and 19 were European-origin white. Both groups were similar in mean age at onset (black, 13.6 +/- 3.36 years; white, 13.68 +/- 3.42 years) and total duration of follow-up (black, 42.7 +/- 43.5 months; white, 38.2 +/- 35.3 months), with no significant difference in time to onset of disease-modifying therapy (black, 11.2 +/- 4.7 months; white, 12.4 +/- 5.1 months). The percentage of females was higher in the black than in the white group (83% vs 47%; P = 0.014). The annualized relapse rate was significantly higher in the black than in the white group (1.80 +/- 1.14 vs 1.13 +/- 0.50; P < 0.001). These findings are consistent with data suggesting a more aggressive disease phenotype among African-American blacks with adult-onset multiple sclerosis. Larger multicenter studies are warranted to confirm the findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / ethnology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data*