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The Prevalence, Epidemiology, Patient Well Being and Adherence to Therapy and Disease Burden of Multiple Sclerosis in Jordan

Yara B Al-Haddadin*, Bayan Y Ghanim, Randa A Mansour, Rana J Shalabi, Wail M Ennab, Warda S Jaber, Samar Y Alnabaly and Nisreen M Al-Drabbea

Objectives: To estimate the clinical, demographical and epidemiological features of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Jordan in addition to patient adherence to therapy and disease burden.

Methods: Data for patients with clinically definite diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) visiting major referral hospital for MS in Jordan were collected during the time June-December 2020.

Results: The prevalence of MS in Jordan is 24/100000. 870 patients (611 females, 70.2%; 259 males, 29.8%) agreed to disclose patient and history details. The Majority of patients were house-wives (214; 24.6%). The mean (± SD) age at time of the study was 35 (± 10.1) years, and mean (± SD) duration of illness was 5 (± 5.1) years. 125 (13.4%) newly diagnosed cases were reported during the time of the study. 537 (62%) were diagnosed immediately in less than one month after the first attack in comparison with 333 (38%) that were diagnosed after more than 6 months to years after the first attack. Family history of MS was found in 154 (18%) of the cases. Family members who have MS from the mother's side were slightly higher than that from the father's side (49 cases, 35.06% vs 54 cases, 31.82% with P value of 0.73). Patients who live in different countries/cities were 203 (23%). The majority of the patients live in Amman (696; 80%). 393 (45%) of the patients had Vitamin D deficiency at time of diagnosis. The Majority of patients were house-wives (214; 24.6%). The majority of patients suffered from optic neuritis and numbness during the early attacks, and was ignorant about MS prior to their illness making it psychologically harder to comprehend and adhere to therapy.

Conclusion: Initial symptoms typically occur between 23 and 43 years of age, and women have about twice increased likelihood of developing MS compared to men. The first presentation of the disease varies among patients. There is an increase in MS cases, and this might be due to different factors such as genetic and environmental and vitamin D deficiency. There is an increased awareness among medical staff in the last ten years. Lack of awareness of MS among patients and community renders negative impact and adherence to therapy.

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