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Context: Regional differences in the prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have been reported with higher
rates in rural areas.
Purpose: Using hospital admission data from eight counties in Ohio (1999 to 2004), we described the pattern of
admissions for MS patients and examined the rural/urban differences.
Methods: Adjusted admission rate ratios (ARR) for rural regions were calculated using Poisson regression models.
Findings: The estimated admission rate was 70 per 100,000 in 1999 and increased to 90 per 100,000 in 2004 (p<0.0001).
A significant association between degree of urbanization and MS admission rates was found with higher rate in rural area
(ARR=1.23, 95% CI 1.17-1.35) and in female (ARR=2.45, 95% CI 2.37-2.54).
Conclusions: Admission rate for MS is increasing and rural residence is associated with higher hospitalization rate..