The effect of gender in clinically isolated syndrome (CIS): a meta-analysis

Mult Scler. 2012 May;18(5):600-4. doi: 10.1177/1352458511426740. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


Background/objective: A clinically isolated syndrome compatible with demyelination (CIS) is the initial presentation for the majority of people that go on to develop multiple sclerosis (MS). There has previously been little work examining the effect of gender on the development and progression of CIS.

Methods: Data from observational studies of CIS were used. In total, 33 suitable studies with 4732 subjects were identified.

Results: The overall relative risk (RR) of CIS in females compared with males was 2.12 (95% CI 1.94-2.32). The RR of females developing MS following CIS was 1.20 (95% CI 0.98-1.46) compared with males.

Conclusions: These data imply that the gender bias seen in MS is caused by factors acting early in the disease process.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Demyelinating Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors