Clinical expression of multiple sclerosis in Hispanic whites of primarily Caribbean ancestry

Athena Hadjixenofontos, Ashley H. Beecham, Clara P. Manrique, Margaret A Pericak-Vance, Leticia Tornes, Melissa Ortega, Kottil W Rammohan, Jacob L McCauley, Silvia Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: The clinical characteristics of multiple sclerosis (MS) are not well defined in Hispanic populations. We hypothesized that disease presentation in Hispanic white (HW) patients will be different from non-Hispanic white (NHW) patients given their ancestral background and reported lower disease prevalence. This study was undertaken to compare HW of primarily Caribbean ancestry to NHW on clinical characteristics of MS. Methods: We assessed 312 HW and 312 NHW patients with definite MS for clinical disease characteristics obtained through consented review of medical records. In order to assess the relationship between age-related phenotypes and ethnicity, linear regression was used. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between ethnicity and descriptors of disease presentation and severity as well as presence of neurological symptoms. Results: We observed a significantly younger age at diagnosis (p = 1.38E-02) and age at exam (p = 2.36E-05) in HW. However, age at first symptom did not differ significantly between the two groups. Furthermore, within HW, the mean age at first symptom and age at diagnosis was significantly younger in those born in the United States (p < 1.00E-03 for both). Interestingly, we noted an increase in ambulatory disability in HW patients, primarily among those with relapsing disease (p = 4.18E-03). Conclusions: We found several differences in agerelated phenotypes and disease severity between HW of primarily Caribbean origin and NHW patients. To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date that examined the clinical characteristics of MS in Hispanic patients of largely Caribbean origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 20 2015


  • All epidemiology
  • Clinical neurology examination
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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