An investigation of multiple sclerosis risk factors and their interaction in two communities

People who develop Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) suffer a slow progressive neurologic disability that leaves them unable to control their body movements. This study was done: (1) to determine if a small Alaskan community had a higher incidence rate than the United States as a who and (2) to determine if the M.S. cases from this community shared similar risk factors with a patient group from Los Angeles. The incidence rate for the Alaskan community was ten per 1000. This is higher than the United States incidence rate of two per 1000. Twenty-one cases and thirteen controls were selected from questionnaires that ilicited information as to the presence or absence of various risk factors. Eight risk factors, identified in the literature, were selected for analysis as well as three others comparing the two case groups. Chi-square analyses of the data in the present study identified two risk factors significantly associated with M.S. These two risk factors were analyzed with presence of M.S. utilizing a three way chi-square. The results were not significant. Despite lack of significance, interesting trends were noted suggesting a multiple risk factor etiology for M.S.