Facts and figures

  • More than 2.3 million people currently live with the disease, of whom more than one million have progressive MS.
  • Up to 65 per cent of people with relapsing-remitting MS will eventually develop secondary progressive MS
  • Up to 15 per cent of people with MS are diagnosed with progressive MS from the outset (primary progressive MS).
  • Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although MS can occur in young children and significantly older adults.
  • MS occurs in most ethnic groups but is more common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry. In general, MS is more common in areas farthest from the equator. However, prevalence rates may differ significantly among groups living in the same geographic area regardless of distance from the equator.
  • MS is at least two to three times more common in women than in men, suggesting that hormones may also play a significant role in determining susceptibility to MS. And some recent studies have suggested that the female to male ratio may be as high as three or four to one.

Mobility is a major issue for me. Without people to take me out, I am pretty much housebound. Leaving the house requires very careful planning, it involves investigating the accessibility of the place I’m going, including the toilet facilities, deciding what to wear, and so on

Christelle from South Africa, living with progressive MS

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