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
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.
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.
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.
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).

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).