Who Gets MS? The Young or Old?

Multiple Sclerosis is estimated to affect more than 2.1 million people worldwide but an accurate number is hard to come by due to the 
number of people who go undiagnosed. But who can get MS? Who is most likely to be part of the 2.1 million people living with MS?

Multiple Sclerosis affects women about 3 times more than it affects men and generally the disease hits between the age of 20 and 50 but may not be diagnosed until the ages of 30-50. Regardless of these average numbers, MS can affect people much younger and much older. The youngest person to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis was diagnosed at the early age of 1 years old (Childhood MS – a Guide for Parents) and the oldest reported person to be diagnosed with MS was diagnosed at 82 years old (Martinelli, Rodegher, Moiola, & Comi 2004).

Ages Individuals Are Diagnosed
                 

Ages Individuals Started Experiencing Symptoms
         
Here Are Some Statistics;

· It’s estimated that over 2.1 million people
have MS worldwide.

· It’s estimated that over 400,000 people in the
United States have MS.
· The risk of developing MS in the general
population is about 1/750
· The risk of developing MS when you have a
close relative with the disease is about 1/40
· The risk of developing MS if you have an
identical twin with MS is about 1 in 4
· Approximately 20% of people who develop MS are
diagnosed after the age of 40
· Approximately 10% of people who develop MS are
diagnosed after the age of 50 
· MS is more common in northern latitudes
further away from the equator.
· MS occurs in most ethnic groups,
including African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics/Latinos, but is more common
in Caucasians of northern European descent. However some ethnic groups, such as
the Inuit, Aborigines and Maoris, have few if any documented cases of MS regardless
of where they live.
As you can see Multiple Sclerosis is making a decent effort to not discriminate against whom it can effect but if you go by the average numbers you’re most likely to be affected by MS if you are a Caucasian woman between the ages 20 and 50 who lives in northern areas of the globe and who has a relative with the disease. But again, those are just the average numbers… I am a male, half Caucasian, half Hispanic, who was diagnosed at the age of 20, and I lived in southern California (at the time of my diagnosis) where there is no shortage of sun… 

Once again, it’s all a matter of chance

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