Previous reports on large population groups have suggested that the prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Sicily and southern Italy is low, of the order of 4-8 per 100 000. In contrast, immigrants from Italy resident in Greater London, many of whom are from southern Italy and Sicily, had a hospitalised MS prevalence similar to that found among people born in the United Kingdom (1960-72). The present study shows that in Enna city (population 29 000) in central Sicily, the prevalence of probable MS was 53 per 100 000, which is of the same order of magnitude as has been reported from the United Kingdom and northern Europe. The high prevalence of MS found in Enna city may be due, at least in part, to the fact that the population studies was small. Because Enna is on high ground, similar studies are being undertaken in two small coastal towns of Sicily.
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