In areas near the equator, MS occurs in fewer than 1 out of 100,000 people. In areas
farther from the equator—such as northern Europe and northern North America—MS
occurs in around 30 to 80 out of 100,000 people.1 When moving south of the equator, the number of people
with MS is less dramatic, but the same trend is seen.
Thinking about getting pregnant? Women with multiple sclerosis are as likely to get pregnant, and have a healthy pregnancy as anyone else.
But MS can pose some challenges when you're pregnant. So, it’s good to be aware and plan ahead.
Some evidence suggests that people who move from a high-risk to a
low-risk area before the age of 15 reduce their chances of developing MS.
But the same is true in reverse. In those who move from a low-risk area to
a high-risk area before the age of 15, the risk of getting MS increases. Those
older than 15 when they move to a new area retain the risk associated with
their old area.1
Most experts agree that this unusual relationship between geographic
location and MS suggests that an environmental factor is partly responsible for
causing the disease.