Estimated Incidence Rate of Multiple Sclerosis in Isfahan Province, Iran and Its Relationship with Geographical Factors from 2001 to 2014

Fereshteh Ashtari, Arezoo Karimi, Ali Delpisheh, Rokhsareh Meamar, Kourosh Sayehmiri, Salman Daliri


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease associated with inflammation of the central nervous system in humans. This disease is the most common neurological disease, especially in young people. Various factors, including biological, genetic, and environmental factors, are effective on the prevalence of MS disease. This study intends to determine the relationship between geographical factors, and the prevalence of MS disease was performed.

Methods: This ecological study was carried out on 2000 patients with diagnosis of MS during the years 2001–2014 in Isfahan province. All patients’ data including age, sex, marital status, year, and location of patients were extracted from the fles. Arc geographic information systems version 10.3 software was used for geographical maps, and for statistical analysis of data, SPSS.16 software ANOVA tests, independent t‑test, and Kruskal–Wallis were used.

Results: Based on recorded cases of MS, the highest and lowest cumulative incidence of diseases was related to the city of Isfahan (75.92 in one hundred thousand) and Aran Bidgol (1.16 in one hundred thousand), respectively. A signifcant relationship was observed between the incidence and height above sea level (P = 0.001), the average annual
rainfall (P = 0.001), and land use (P = 0.001). With increase in the height above sea level and the average annual precipitation, the incidence of disease decreased.

Conclusions: MS diseaseincidence is high in Isfahan province. The distribution of the disease is not the same in the cities of this province, and some cities have a higher incidence. Furthermore, the incidence of the disease is influenced by geographical factors such as height above sea level, average annual rainfall, and land use. Therefore, it is recommended that relevant authorities by the implementation of screening programs in high‑risk areas take action to identify and treat patients in the early stages.

Keywords: Geographic information systems, geographical factors, Isfahan, multiple sclerosis, prevalence

Full Text: