Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis in Arabs in Kuwait: A comparative study between Kuwaitis and Palestinians

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Journal of the Neurological Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.26). 01/1991; 100(1-2):137-41. DOI: 10.1016/0022-510X(90)90024-H
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT On December 31, 1988 there were 201 registered multiple sclerosis patients in Kuwait, an overall prevalence rate (PR) of 10.2 per 100,000; among them were 186 Arabs, of whom 72 were Palestinians and 51 Kuwaitis. Comparison of these two subgroups, who had a similar age distribution revealed that the disease was 2 1/2 times more frequent among Palestinians (PR 23.8/100,000) than among Kuwaitis (PR 9.5/100,000). Palestinians also showed significant differences from Kuwaitis in eye color, blood group distribution and HLA-DR and HLA-DQW epitopes frequency. This suggests that genetic rather than environmental factors might be the underlying cause for the high susceptibility to develop MS among Arabs originating from the Eastern Mediterranean basin.

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