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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 439

Mr Holding asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 1 May 1980:

(   1 ) Are statistics available on the

(a)   incidence and

(b)   geographical location of the occurrence of multiple sclerosis in Australia.

(2)   If so,

(a)   what percentage of the Australian population is shown to be affected by multiple sclerosis and

(b)   from what sources are these figures compiled.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) There are no comprehensive Australia wide statistics of the incidence of multiple sclerosis. The Australian Bureau of Statistics does have some limited statistics in some States of the numbers of hospital inpatients suffering from multiple sclerosis, but they do not give incidence figures.

(2)   The best figures which are available on the matter come from a study conducted by Professor M. G. McCall of the Department of Medicine, University of Western Australia, and others, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neuro-surgery and Psychiatry 1968, Volume 31, pages 1-9. This study showed the prevalence of 20 per 100,000 in Perth and Newcastle while in Hobart the rate was 32 per 1 00,000.

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