Epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis in Austria

Neuroepidemiology. 2017;49(1-2):40-44. doi: 10.1159/000479696. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


Background: To assess the incidence rate and prevalence ratio of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Austria.

Methods: Hospital discharge diagnosis and MS-specific immunomodulatory treatment prescriptions from public health insurances, covering 98% of Austrian citizens with health insurance were used to extrapolate incidence and prevalence numbers based on the capture-recapture method.

Results: A total of 1,392,629 medication prescriptions and 40,956 hospitalizations were extracted from 2 data sources, leading to a total of 13,205 patients. The incidence rate and prevalence ratio of MS in Austria based on the capture-recapture method were 19.5/100,000 person-years (95% CI 14.3-24.7) and 158.9/100,000 (95% CI 141.2-175.9), respectively. Female to male ratio was 1.6 for incidence and 2.2 for prevalence.

Conclusions: Incidence rates and prevalence ratios of MS in our study are within the upper range of comparable studies across many European countries as well as the United States.

Keywords: Austria; Epidemiology; Multiple sclerosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult