Who has the most accurate numbers?

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Who has the most accurate numbers?

Postby kareng7 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:49 pm

I keep hearing the numbers 300,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. have MS, and about 2.5 million worldwide, is the estimate. Seems terribly low, and I know others on this board have mentioned under-reporting in those figures.

I also understand that Montel Williams, the host of a national talk show who was diagnosed with MS and went public in 1999, has said something about under-reporing. Indeed, his personal statement on his site says "The world needs to understand that many more people have MS than current data indicates." Someone told me he gave money to fund a study to get more accurate numbers, but I haven't seen anything on that.

Anyone have any idea which organization has the most accurate figures and what those figures are?
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Postby bromley » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:49 am

Kareng7,

I can't speak for the world but in the UK the estimate is some 85,000 (about 1 in 700). But one of the neurologists I spoke to at the Institute of Neurology said that he thought the figure was higher. The Australian MS society website says that it is growing by 8 per cent per annum. Also, all the maufacturers of the CRAB drugs saw reported increased turnover/profit from these treatments this year which could suggest an increase in the number of sufferers. The MSIF site has a list of all its country members and provides an estimate for each country of the number of MS sufferers.

In terms of the US, I've seen couple of articles which suggest that MS affects 1 in 500 in Denver and New England. I'm not sure what the US population is but I'd guess around 290 million. If the 1 in 700 figure for the UK is similar to the US then this would suggest just over 400,000.

In the UK there is a big focus on diabetes where they believe that one million have it but have not been diagnosed. I suspect that there are many with MS (mild symptoms) that have yet to be diagnosed.

As the numbers increase there will be more pressure / incentives to come up with better treaments. But the overall numbers are irrelevant - my issue is why the hell (in my one life) did I have to be the 1 in 700 that got this vile disease!

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Postby gibbledygook » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:58 am

My neurologist, Dr Giovannoni from Queen Square, London told me the US military and Norway have the most accurate figures on MS. He didn't tell me the figures but a Lancet report in 2002 stated that up to 1 in 400 people in the west have the disease. This would mean there are more like 150,000 people in the UK and 725,000 in the US. 8O
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