Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis: incidence and prevalence rates in Denmark 1948-64 based on the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry

Acta Neurol Scand. 1988 Nov;78(5):369-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1988.tb03672.x.


The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry (DMSR) is a national register based upon the ethnically homogeneous Danish population of about 5 millions. The DMSR was founded in 1956 following a nationwide Danish prevalence survey of MS in 1949 and a continuous registration of incident cases of MS since January 1, 1948. Included in DMSR are all Danish cases of MS (or suspicion of MS) diagnosed by a neurologist or a department of neurology. The sources of notification are the 22 neurological departments in Denmark, the National Patient Registry, the neuropathological departments, the Registry of Causes of Death, and, up to 1975, the Disablement Insurance Court. Notified cases which do not comply with the standardized diagnostic criteria of the DMSR are excluded. An estimate of the completeness of the DMSR is 90-95% and the validity is around 94%. Age- and sex-specific incidence rates of MS for the interval 1948-64 are presented. The crude annual incidence rate of MS in Denmark was in the year 1948-64 4.42 per 100,000 population, 22% higher in females than males. There was a significant geographical variation of incidence rates and a significant downward trend in incidence rates during the interval, whereas the prevalence rates showed a slight increase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*