Prevalence and Incidence of Multiple Sclerosis


About prevalence and incidence statistics: The term 'prevalence' of Multiple Sclerosis usually refers to the estimated population of people who are managing Multiple Sclerosis at any given time. The term 'incidence' of Multiple Sclerosis refers to the annual diagnosis rate, or the number of new cases of Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed each year. Hence, these two statistics types can differ: a short-lived disease like flu can have high annual incidence but low prevalence, but a life-long disease like diabetes has a low annual incidence but high prevalence. For more information see about prevalence and incidence statistics.

Prevalance of Multiple Sclerosis: 1-in-700 (NIAID)
Prevalance Rate: approx 1 in 700 or 0.14% or 388,571 people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis afflicts 1 in 700 people in this country.1

Prevelance statistics about Multiple Sclerosis: The following statistics relate to the prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis:

  • 300,000 Americans
  • 146,892 people in the USA 1996 2
  • 250,000 to 500,000 cases in the US (Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, NIH, 2004)
  • Estimated 250,000 to 500,000 Americans (NWHIC)

1. excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID
2. Rose and Mackay, 1998, The Autoimmune Diseases, Third Edition

Last revision: June 2, 2003

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