Incidence of MS

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Incidence of MS

Postby bromley » Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:02 am

Dear all,

The Australian MS society website says that MS is 'a devastating disease, growing at the alarming rate of 8% pa'. I assume this relates to the number of people diagnosed each year. Has anyone come across any such figures for other countries e.g. UK, US, Canada? This is a worrying increase which may alert Governments to take some more action e.g. funding more research etc etc.

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Postby amelia » Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:24 am

I think it has probably been that high all along. But better diagnositics are bringing the numbers up. It took my husband over 10 years when they were really looking for what was wrong with him. But we know now that the disease actually went back at least 5 more years from that. He went blind after a welding incident. We know now it was MS and not the "burning of the eye" with welding. How many other people are walking around with a "pinched nerve", bad back, etc.
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Re: Incidence of MS

Postby NHE » Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:20 pm

Amelia wrote:How many other people are walking around with a "pinched nerve", bad back, etc.

That sounds familiar. I went through a month of chiropractic and x-rays of my spine for problems I was having with my leg and foot. I then developed optic neuritis and that clued the doctor in that it was probably MS.

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Re: Incidence of MS

Postby HarryZ » Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:44 am

Bromely,

If you took that 8% number and applied it to the NMSS's current estimate of MS cases in the US, (400,000) that would mean that there would be 32,000+ new cases of MS being diagnosed every year. That would drastically change the totals in the US and would likely make the current numbers far too low.

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Postby bromley » Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:33 pm

HarryZ,

One of the charts on the Australian website shows how several auto-immune disease have been on the increase over the last 20 years e.g ms, diabetes (I recognise that there is still some debate about whether ms is an auto-immune disease).

In the UK it is estimated that around 85,000 people have MS (total population of some 60 million). The UK MS society says that 50 people each weeks are diagnosed (c. 2,500 a year). This annual increase would (if accurate) be lower than the annual increase being seen in Australia.

I think there is some under-reporting (not intentional). The chance of getting ms based on the UK figures is probably 1 in 600 ish. But since my diagnosis, I'm staggered by how many people (friends / colleagues) have said 'my sister, mother, brother has ms' etc. My GP called it a rare disease but seems to be less rare than one might think.

The sort of increase being seen in Australia is certainly alarming (but an 8% annual increase in potential customers will ensure that the CRAB manufacturers do well in the future. Wonder if their prices will reduce?)

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Incidence

Postby Brainteaser » Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:38 pm

Dear Bromley,

I believe that the experts are probably correct regarding the increasing incidence of MS throughout the world. However, the point I would make regarding the views of the MS Society in Australia is that, bottom-line, the organization is a fund-raiser and accordingly it would have a vested interest in promoting a real or perceived growth of MS in the community. Harsh thought perhaps, but not improbable.

Regards,
Phil.
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Postby HarryZ » Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:18 pm

Ian,

I just checked the Canadian MS Society's website and they state that 3 more people get diagnosed with the disease every day. It also states that Canada has the highest rate of MS per capita in the world and currently the estimate is 50,000. If you look at the population of Canada (25 million) and then compare that to the UK's 60 million, the rate of increase here and in the UK is about that same at 2%. That would mean that Australia is increasing at 4 times the rate which seems high. Who knows what figures are totally accurate.

But you can bet one thing....the drug companies aren't about to lower their costs for the medication!!!

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increasing numbers

Postby gibbledygook » Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:09 am

The Myelin Repair Foundation states that one in four hundred people develop MS. This figure is taken from a Lancet publication from 2002. My neurologist Dr Gavin Giovannoni said that the "official" figure of 80,000 with MS in UK was based on a census taken in the seventies and is wildly inaccurate. He also said that the US military is having to let go of increasing numbers of soldiers due to the disease. My mother had MS, my sister-in-law has MS, a friend of 6 years had MS when young but has the benign form and I have MS. I don't think I could name 4000 people let alone be good friends/relations of them so I reckon that the Lancet is about right: one in four hundred people get MS.
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Postby bromley » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:13 am

Gibbledygook,

Thanks for the post. Your reference to the US Army was very interesting. I know that in the UK the rank and file soldier usually signs up from 18 to 40 - the classic age to fall victim to ms. This should allow for a fairly robust analysis of the incidence of ms (I know some work has been done in the US Army). It should be possible to test for environmental triggers e.g Epstein Barr Virus etc etc.

The UK House of Commons has some 650 MPs and two have ms (or have declared so). Not very scientific I know, but this points to an incidence of 1 in 300-400 or so.

I suppose if the numbers continue to increase, MS will no longer be considered a cinderella disease and appropriate funding will be allocated to it by health departments (let's hope).



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