Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc in Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Professor, Isfahan Neurosciences Research Center, Alzahra Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

4 Professor, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran


Background and aims: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
The impact of the number of attacks on the disease is undeniable. The aim of this study was to analyze the
number of attacks in these patients.
Methods: In this descriptive-analytical study, the registered data of 1840 MS patients referred to the MS clinic
of Ayatollah Kashani hospital in Isfahan were used. The number of attacks during the treatment period was
defined as the response variable, age at diagnosis, sex, employment, level of education, marital status, family
history, course of disease, and expanded disability as the explanatory variables. The analysis was performed
using zero-inflated negative binomial model via Bayesian framework in OpenBUGS software.
Results: Age at diagnosis (CI: -0.04, -0.20), marital status (CI: -0.56, 0.002), level of education (CI: -0.81,
-0.26), Job (CIHousewives vs Employee=[0.04, 0.64], CIUnemployee vs Employee=[-1.10,0.008])), and course of disease (CI:
-0.51, -0.08) had a significant effect on the number of attacks. In relapsing-remitting patients, the number of
attacks was partial significantly affected by expanded disability status scale (EDSS) (CI: -0.019, 0.16).
Conclusion: Aging, being single (never married), high education, and not having a job decrease the number
of attacks; therefore, lower age, being married, primary education, and being a housewife increase the
number of attacks. An interventional or educational program is suggested in order to prevent the occurrence
of further attacks in high-risk groups of patients and to increase their chances of recovery.


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