Statistics indicate that there are currently 350,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with MS. Two hundred people are diagnosed with MS every week and more than 2.5 million people are living with the disease worldwide. However, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not require U.S. physicians to report new cases of MS and the symptoms of the disease can go unrecognized for some time, these numbers are only estimates.
MS is more common in women, appears more frequently in Caucasians than in Hispanics or African Americans, and is relatively rare among Asians and certain other ethnic groups. MS is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can develop in young children and teens as well as older adults.
(Last reviewed 7/2009)