Who Gets MS? - Part 3

This is Part 3 of Who Gets MS? If you would like to read from the beginning, click here to go to Part 1 and here to go to Part 2.

Race or ethnicity

Would you believe that there are certain groups of people who rarely, if ever, get multiple sclerosis? Hard to believe, but there are. The Eskimos, the Gypsies, the Yakuts in Siberia, and the Bantu in Africa. There are also other black groups in Africa where MS is also rare.

If you are African America, you will get MS at half the rate as those who are white. The same is true with black populations in other countries. The rate is always lower.

African Americans, however, do develop multiple sclerosis at higher rates than blacks in other countries. This may be due to the fact that we have more of an interracial ancestry.

Another group that has a very low rate of developing MS are Asians. Even when Japanese migrate to places that have high incidences of multiple sclerosis, this group still develops it at a much lower rate. And rates are lower when Japanese are born locally in areas of higher rates.

There are lower rates among Native Americans and other Indian groups like those born in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Malta.

Men or Women?

Who gets multiple sclerosis between the different sexes? Women are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis than men. In the US, the ratio is almost 2 to 1, (1.8 to 1 go be exact). In western Australia, the ratio is almost 3 to 1 (2.8 to 1). A study that averaged all the surveys, the ratio for women to men is 1.4 to 1.

Why is there such a difference? It could be that women pay more attention to their health. And what about the difference between the races. Do African Americans go to the doctor when they have symptoms that could suggest MS?

All the studies should probably not be taken at face value. Unless there are other factors taken into consideration, it's probably not a good idea to stand on this evidence alone. There are too many other reasons, environmental for example, that can influence the reasons why different groups show in studies the way they do.

So, the question still remains. Who gets multiple sclerosis? We know, but then again, maybe we don't.

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