Anyone may develop MS, but there are some patterns.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages
of 20 and 50.
Two-three times as many women as men have MS.
Studies indicate that genetic factors make certain
individuals more susceptible than others, but there
is no evidence that MS is directly inherited.
MS occurs more commonly among people with northern
European ancestry, but people of African, Asian, and
Hispanic backgrounds are not immune.
Approximately 400,000 Americans
acknowledge having MS, and every week about 200 people
are diagnosed. Worldwide, MS may affect 2.5 million
For more information
Study of disease patterns that takes into
account variations in geography,
demographics, socioeconomic status,
genetics, and infectious causes
Population studies and new techiques for
determining genetics factors of MS
Genetics: The Basic Facts
Basic facts about MS and heredity
MS diagnosis before age 21—5% of those
MS is usually considered a disease that
adults get, but is occasionally
diagnosed in children.
Read more about Pediatric (Childhood) MS
and a support network for families
MS diagnosis after age 50—9.4% of those
Read more about the late onset of MS