Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 3, 2015
   Pages 263 — 272

Abstract — VHA Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry and its similarities to other contemporary multiple sclerosis cohorts

William J. Culpepper, PhD, MA;1–2* Mitchell T. Wallin, MD, MPH;1,3 Laurence S. Magder, PhD, MPH;4 Eli Perencevich, MD, MS;5 Walter Royal, MD;1–2 Douglas D. Bradham, DrPH, MA, MPH;6 Gary Cutter, PhD;7 Christopher T. Bever, MD1–2

1Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence–East, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, MD; 2Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; 3Department of Neurology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC; 4Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; 5Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA; 6Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, Wichita, KS; and Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Wichita, KS; 7Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Abstract — The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has provided important contributions to our understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS); however, the characteristics of the modern VHA MS population have not been adequately characterized. Our objectives were to compare and contrast characteristics of the VHA MS population with other contemporary MS cohorts. A cross-sectional, mail-based survey of a stratified, random sample of 3,905 VHA users with MS was conducted. Detailed demographic and clinical data were collected as well as patient-reported outcomes assessing disability and quality of life. A total of 1,379 Veterans were enrolled into the MS Surveillance Registry (MSSR). Respondents did not differ from nonrespondents with regard to demographics or region. When compared to several other contemporary MS cohorts, some demographic differences were noted; however, the age of MS onset and diagnosis, subtype distribution, and most prevalent symptoms were very similar across MS cohorts. The MSSR appears to be representative of the general MS population. Combining the extensive VHA health services encounter data with the MSSR provides a rich and unique cohort for study.

Key words: epidemiology, MS, MS characteristics, MS cohort, MS population, MSSR, multiple sclerosis, surveillance registry, Veterans, Veterans Health Administration.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 52, No.3

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Culpepper WJ, Wallin MT, Magder LS, Perencevich E, Royal W, Bradham DD, Cutter G, Bever CT. VHA Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry and its similarities to other contemporary multiple sclerosis cohorts. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(3):263–72.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.07.0172
ResearcherID: William J. Culpepper, PhD, MA: F-1554-2015
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