Diagnosis is falling but the number of people living with MS is growing
The number of people being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the UK is falling however research is showing that the number of people living with disease is growing.
Scientists at the University of Dundee have found that between 1990 and 2010 there has been a 2.4% annual rise in MS patients despite a fall in new patients, reports the BBC.
This increase has been put down to improved mortality rates which have fallen to 3% a year.
Researchers believe the findings could have a major impact on the allocation of future resources for patients. The study estimated that 6,000 across the UK were diagnosed with MS during 2010 and there were nearly 127,000 people living with the condition.
Dr Isal Mackenzie, leader of the research, has said that the study covered patients from GP practices throughout the country. “This study provides an up to date national picture of the epidemiology of MS in the UK. It is important to have this information on the prevalence of MS in order to understand the impact of this disease and to ensure that adequate resources are provided both nationally and regionally for people affected by MS.” Said Dr Mackenzie.
Dr Jonathan O’Riordan, consultant neurologist at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, said: “There are probably genetic and environmental factors at play to explain why it is more common in Scotland. The vast majority of newly diagnosed patients will have the relapsing remitting form of the disease and will be eligible for consideration of disease modifying therapies. These can cost anywhere from £5,500 to nearly £20,000 per year. This has ongoing cost implications for health care providers.”
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