Neuroepidemiology 2002 Sep-Oct;21(5):226-34
Baumhackl U, Eibl G, Ganzinger U, Hartung HP, Mamoli B, Pfeiffer KP, Fazekas F, Vass K.
Department of Neurology, General Hospital, St. Poelten, Austria.
The epidemiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Austria is almost unknown.
We evaluated the prevalence of MS in Austria using data from questionnaires completed by neurologists, comprising information on a total of 1,006 MS patients who attended 30 out-patient specialized clinics nationwide.
Additional data were collected from 2,414 MS patients, who received questionnaires from the Austrian MS Society or their doctor.
A novel extrapolation model, based on frequencies of patients visits at MS clinics, was used to estimate the overall prevalence of MS.
Considering either disability or the course of the disease, the prevalence of MS patients in Austria was estimated to be 98.5 per 100,000 people.
The prevalence of MS in Austria was found to be similar to that of other countries in Central Europe.
Epidemiological studies, such as this, provide a unique source of data from which key features of a disease and its impact on patients may be examined.