May 21, 2003
Italy numbers 1800 new multiple sclerosis cases each year. In Italy the total number of persons affected to date are 52 thousand: in statistical terms this means that one out of every 1,100 inhabitants is affected, with a peak in Sardinia where one in every 700 is affected. The figures are part of an epidemiological research carried out by the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association (AISM) which was presented during a conference on the state of research and on future strategies.
Worldwide at least 3 million persons are thought to have the disease,
which has a widely varying starting age (15 to 50 years of age), but is
especially common in young adults between the age of 20 and 30. It affects
more women than men, with a 2 to 1 ratio between the two sexes. The risk
of having the disease increases if there is a family history, especially
on the maternal side of the family.
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