Sociodemographic and Clinical Characteristics of Patients With Multiple Sclerosis by Race and Ethnicity (NARCRMS Registry)
Victor Rivera1, Pavle Repovic2, Ayo Adeyemi3, Arman Altincatal3, Coraly Perez-Bajandas3, Toni Saldana-King3, Wanda Castro-Borrero3
1Baylor College of Medicine, 2Multiple Sclerosis Center, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, 3Biogen
Objective:
To describe the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) within the North American Registry for Care and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (NARCRMS) registry by race and ethnicity.
Background:
NARCRMS, a physician-based registry/longitudinal database for patients with MS (pwMS), may elucidate patient characteristics of underserved populations such as blacks/African Americans (AA) and Hispanics/Latinos.
Design/Methods:
The NARCRMS registry contains data of pwMS age 18-50 years across 24 sites from the US and Canada. This analysis describes characteristics of patients enrolled between December 2016 and May 2020 (N=722), including age, gender, education, income level and occupation, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) categories, and disease-modifying therapy (DMT) categories/DMT use. Patient characteristics were summarized by frequencies and proportions for categorical variables and by means and medians for continuous variables.
Results:
The mean age (SD) of patients was 40.1 (10.4) years; 71% were female. Majority (84%, n=587/695) were white Americans; black/AA patients comprised 11% (n=74/695). Despite comparable educational attainment between races, more black/AAs than white Americans were unemployed (8%, n=6/72 vs 3%, n=15/565) or had annual income <$15K (16%, n=12/73 vs 6%, n=35/573). Overall, 73% of patients had mild MS (EDSS scores 0‒2.5). However, twice as many blacks/AAs had substantial disability (EDSS score ≥4.0) vs white Americans (21%, n=15/73 vs 10%, n=56/573, respectively). Over half of all patients (57%, n=370/646) were treated with DMTs―49% (n=182) using injectables and 37% (n=136) using oral DMTs. Hispanics, who comprised 24% (n=152/646) of the patients, were less likely than non-Hispanics to use DMTs, 43% (n=65/152) vs 62% (n=305/494). Of the subgroups, black/AA-Hispanics were least likely to use DMTs (26%, n=5/19).
Conclusions:

Blacks/AAs present with more severe disability than white American patients. More Hispanics than non-Hispanics are not treated with DMTs. Real-world data show disparities in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of pwMS.

Study Supported By: Biogen (Cambridge, MA, USA).