Sweden has high prevalence of paediatric-onset MS

A recent study has shed light on Sweden’s persistent high rates of pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (PoMS). Incidence, which counts new cases over a specific period, and prevalence, indicating the proportion of affected individuals in the population, both remain notably elevated in the country.

The research, published in the European Journal of Neurology, underscores the urgency for clinical trials catering to this vulnerable patient group. Notably, PoMS is more prevalent among females and peaks in patients aged 16 or 17. The data revealed a female-to-male ratio of nearly 2:1, with females comprising 69% of identified cases.

Between 2006 and 2016, Sweden recorded an annual incidence rate of 1.12 cases per 100,000 person-years and a prevalence of 2.82 cases per 100,000 people. Incidence was highest in the 16-17 age group, with a rate of 5.31 per 100,000 person-years, followed by 1.94 in 12-15-year-olds, and 0.09 in children under 12.

Comparatively, the incidence rate was 2.73 times higher in 16-17-year-olds than in 12-15-year-olds, with a significant decrease in younger children. Females exhibited a 2.4 times higher incidence rate than males, particularly prominent in older age groups.

Notably, while prevalence decreased annually by 18% among children under 12, it increased by 5% among 16-17-year-olds. However, there were no significant changes in the overall population over the study period.

Despite fluctuations in specific age groups, Sweden’s overall high incidence and prevalence of PoMS remained stable. This insight serves as a crucial resource for healthcare planning and resource allocation for this patient demographic.