OBJECTIVE: To determine if the demographic characteristics and health care needs of younger people with MS differ from older people with MS. PARTICIPANTS: The study analyzed enrollment data from the NARCOMS Registry to compare 1,987 younger adults with MS (30 years and younger) to 29,245 other adults with MS (over 30 years). METHODS: Analyses of the NARCOMS data focused on descriptive characteristics of these adults with MS, using a t-test to identify any statistically significant age-related differences in means and a chi-squared test to identify any statistically significant age-related differences in proportions. RESULTS: A significantly larger proportion of younger adults with MS were female and African American compared to other adults with MS. We found significant age-related differences in the expression of physical disability domains but few significant age-related differences in symptoms of depression. We also observed significant age-related differences in the utilization of health providers, with larger proportions of other adults with MS treated by internists, urologists, rehabilitation specialists, and physical and occupational therapists. CONCLUSIONS: The comprehensive care of younger adults with MS should include monitoring for mental health conditions and the availability of mental health services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology