I live in the MS-Belt. Is it dangerous to continue?

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I live in the MS-Belt. Is it dangerous to continue?

Postby wilson » Sun May 02, 2004 6:23 pm

Hi all,

I was ds in January which came as quite the shocker.

I have been living in Denver, CO for the last 12 years. I have been told that Colordo has the highest MS rate among all the states.

I remember reading somewhere that 1 out of every 800 people in Colorado have MS compared 1 out of every 4000 for the rest of the US. I thought it was an exageration until I saw a tv commercial yesterday. They claim 1 out of every 750 people in Colordao get MS! They say Colorado is part of the "MS-belt".

Does anyone else live in the "MS-belt"? Is it dangerous for us to continue living here after having your first attack? Will my attacks increase by living in the MS-belt? Does anyone know where I may find the answer to this question?

As always, thanks for any feedback

Tim
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Postby Ptwo » Tue May 04, 2004 2:19 pm

Tim, I think we have you beat here in Vt., our rate is 226 per 100,000 while yours is 130. Here's a link to a map ( it's a little fuzzy) http://www.jr2.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth ... Sgeog.html

It's not the kind of thing you want to go around yelling "we're #1" about I would guess.

Peter
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map

Postby wilson » Wed May 05, 2004 6:09 am

Peter,

thanks for the map. It is interesting but it still makes me wonder. Are we in danger by living in such high percentage areas of MS like VT or CO? I like living in CO but if there is a chance that I may be having more and stronger attacks in the future because of living here in Denver, I may want to consider moving.

I am sure this question has come up before. I wonder if there is any statistics on relocation?

And your right. Being number one is no fun.

Tim
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Postby Ptwo » Wed May 05, 2004 1:23 pm

Tim, I think the cat is already out of the bag for folks like us. Actually they say it's where you spend the first 15 yrs of your life that makes all the difference in whether you get ms or not.

As far as managing ms by climate, the cooler the better works for me. The hot summer days will find me inside by the AC.

Peter
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Temperate Zone ?

Postby mswp » Sun May 23, 2004 9:33 pm

G'Day.

I was born in Queensland (warm most of the year)

and moved to Victoria (brrrrrr) when I was about 7 yrs of age. Victoria is a HOT SPOT for MS as far as the stats go...

maybe I should never have moved ??? one of those things we will never know...
Regards,

Peter Anderson
http://www.mswebpeople.com/
MS WEB PEOPLE

Melbourne Australia.
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Postby willysnout1 » Tue May 25, 2004 11:59 am

You need to be careful about the Vermont number. There are only 608,000 people in the whole state, and the 226/100,000 rate translates into 1,374 cases. The high rate is probably a statistical fluke. Look at the rates in the states surrounding Vermont, particularly New York and New Hampshire. I think a truer picture would be to combine all of New England. There is a similar danger with the Great Plains states, i.e., the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming. Given the rarity of MS and its unknown etiology, their populations aren't big enough for individual state MS rates to be meaningful.
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Postby Arron » Tue May 25, 2004 12:14 pm

very good point Willy-- and good to see you on the site!
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Postby van » Sat May 29, 2004 3:57 pm

HI,I HAVE HAD MS FOR 24 YEARS,AFTER RESEARCHING THE CAUSE AND FINDING OUT THAT IT PUBLISHED IN JAMA,JOURNAL OF AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOC.,AND THE FACT THAT I WAS EXPOSED TO CANINE DISTEMPER WHEN I WAS A BABY.THE CAUSE IS CANINE DISTEMPER. IT GOES INTO YOUR SPINAL FLUID AND STAYS DORMAT UNTIL STRESS BRINGS IT OUT. NOT THE AREA YOU LIVE IN. SO DON'T WORRY ABOUT MOVING.
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Postby Ptwo » Sun May 30, 2004 7:40 am

It's possible that Vt is a statistical fluke but it's also possible that if we could see the rates of ms for counties in NY north of Albany and cut out the bedroom communities for Boston along the southeastern NH border you would see similar rates of ms to Vt.

The head of the ms center at Dartmouth has told me that the rates of ms for northern NH and Vt are the highest in the country. Could it be that we are the victims of pollution spreading eastward from the old coal fired power plants of the Ohio valley?

I use to spend my summers catching and eating trout from our brooks and rivers. Now the state say's don't eat it more than once a month do to mercury levels in the fish. I think this is probably not something new and those high mercury levels were there when I was a kid.

It would be interesting to see a county by county map of ms rates across the country to see if there is a pollution component for those living down wind of our biggest polluters.

Peter
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Postby willysnout1 » Mon May 31, 2004 8:10 pm

Ptwo wrote:The head of the ms center at Dartmouth has told me that the rates of ms for northern NH and Vt are the highest in the country. Could it be that we are the victims of pollution spreading eastward from the old coal fired power plants of the Ohio valley?

There aren't enough people living in that area for these numbers, if they're even real, to be statistically significant. Look, the fact is that no one knows the etiology of MS. We do have a pretty good idea that there's a genetic component, and there seems to be a link between how cold it is in the place you spend your youth and perhaps to how much winter sunshine there is in the place you spend your youth although the sunshine link needs a lot more research.

Little of this can really explain upstate New York and Vermont relative to, say, Wisconsin or Maine or North Dakota or Montana, all of which have high MS rates but not as high as Vermont's according to that one map. It could easily be that a lot of upstate NY and VT is descended from a relatively homogenous gene pool some of whose members are especially prone to MS. Or there might be no reason at all, i.e., that the high rate in that area is random. That is certainly possible given the general rarity of MS.

As for pollution being a cause, there is no evidence of a link between pollution and MS. I'm not advocating in favor of pollution, but just because pollution is bad and MS is bad doesn't mean that pollution causes MS. There are all kinds of good reasons to clean up Midwestern power plants, but there's no indication that it would have any impact on MS rates in NY or VT. If pollution mattered in general or power plants in particular, wouldn't you see MS at higher rates downwind from coal-fired plants elsewhere in the U.S. or the rest of the world, too?

I use to spend my summers catching and eating trout from our brooks and rivers. Now the state say's don't eat it more than once a month do to mercury levels in the fish. I think this is probably not something new and those high mercury levels were there when I was a kid.

Mercury poisoning hasn't been shown to have any connection to MS. The symptoms can appear similar, but MS symptoms are similar to those seen in all kinds of conditions.

It would be interesting to see a county by county map of ms rates across the country to see if there is a pollution component for those living down wind of our biggest polluters.

That would be interesting. Of course, we'd have to know a lot more than just the MS rates in particular counties. We'd need to know where the MSers came from and a bunch of other things. Nevertheless, complete data and good statistics software could yield some useful insights.
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