Frequency of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Among Relatives of MS Patients in Hamadan Society, Iran


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system with unknown causes. In the last decade, the prevalence of MS in Iran has increased.

Objectives: This study evaluated the frequency of familial MS among patients in the Hamadan society for MS.

Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 1202 MS patients in Farshchian hospital, Hamadan, in 2013. All patients were diagnosed with definite MS. A questionnaire was used to gather information; demographic characteristics, medical history, signs and symptoms at onset, course of disease, relatives with MS, and degree and type of relationship were recorded.

Results: The mean age of the patients with familial MS was 28 ± 10.4 years, with higher rates among women (the female to male ratio was 3.2: 1). Familial MS was found in 8.65% of the patients, and 58.58% of those patients had a first-degree relative with MS. The highest rate for familial MS was observed in sister-sister relations and brother-sister relation. The MS risk changed from 57.69% in first-degree relatives to 35.57% in second-degree relatives and 6.73% in third-degree relatives.

Conclusions: There has been an increase in the rate of the disease in Hamadan province in recent years. It was found that there are lower rates of familial prevalence relative to this sample being studied in Hamadan society. The familial MS is more common among sisters. Further studies on the MS patients in Hamadan will be needed for a better assessment of familial and environmental factors.