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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Scottish Islands Have Highest Prevalence of MS in the World

By December 29, 2012

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Scotland's Orkney Isles has been identified as having the highest prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the world, according to a study published in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

At a prevalence of 402 per 100,000, the likelihood of having MS is roughly 8 times higher on these islands than in the US (having a prevalence of 58 per 100,000). On these islands, 1 in 170 women have MS, with 45% having "significant disability." The islands have a small population of about 20,000 inhabitants.

No one knows why the prevalence of MS is so much higher on the Orkney Isles than in other places. It seems to be on the rise, as a study published in 1980 showed a prevalence of 309 per 100,000.

December 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm
(1) J Taylor says:

With Vit D deficiency being a theory, I sometimes wonder if rise in use of sunscreen among women is a factor (anti-aging efforts and all).

January 6, 2013 at 11:18 am
(2) jOYCE says:

Is anyone looking at pollution and exposure to chenicals in the environment? It would be very interesting since it is now believed that exposure to environmental pollution can be a trigger for chronic diseases like MS;

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