Where is MS most prevalent? Who is more likely to be diagnosed with MS and at what age? MS awareness advocate Walter Gefrom answers these questions and more:
Prevalence of MS
Multiple Sclerosis is more prevalent in individuals based on ethnicity and region of location. North America is a hotspot of MS diagnoses, acting as home to more people with MS than any other continent. Europe is second to follow. Although an individual of any ethnicity can develop MS, caucasian people of European descent are the most likely to develop the autoimmune disease. However, the prevalence of MS diagnosis within black and hispanic communities has dramatically increased in the last few years, indicating that this previous assumption may be untrue. In the past, it was believed that North Americans of Scandinavian descent were most at risk of developing MS, though this is no longer widely accepted.
Onset of Multiple Sclerosis generally occurs between the ages of 20 and 50 years old. The average age of diagnosis is 32. Many individuals live years and even decades without realizing that they have MS, either due to late-onset or a mild experience of symptoms.