Geographic location, or where you lived
during childhood (up to age 15). People who spend the first 15 years of their
lives in colder climates that are farther away from the equator tend to be more
likely to get MS than people who lived closer to the equator during those
Family history of MS. About 15 out of
100 people who have MS have a relative with MS, most often a brother or sister.2
characteristics associated with the
immune system. These appear more frequently in people who
have MS. This may mean that there are one or more
genes that may increase the chance of getting
Race. People of Western European
ancestry are more likely to get MS.
Being female. MS is about 3
times as common in women as in men.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this