The MS population is ageing [1]


In western countries, more than half of MS patients are now 45 years of age or older [2-4]. The rise in age seems to be mainly driven by declining mortality as the incidence of MS appears relatively stable [5]. MS is also more likely to be diagnosed in patients of a higher age today than in years gone by, as demonstrated in a recent population-based study in Norway [6]. The age of MS onset was found to have steadily increased, with a quarter of patients receiving their diagnosis at the age of 50 years or older [6].

A study from Bavaria, Germany exemplifies the trends in MS prevalence by age (see below) [2].


Trends in MS prevalence and incidence in people living in Bavaria, Germany


In this study, health administrative data from more than 10 million people living in Bavaria, Germany, were analyzed [2]. From 2006 to 2015, the MS prevalence increased from 171 to 277 per 100,000, while incidence rates remained relatively stable (range 16-18 per 100,000). A substantial increase in prevalence was observed in those between 40 and 60 years of age. In 2015, 60% of the people with MS were at least 45 years of age or older [2].


MS prevalence per 100,000 in Bavaria, Germany stratified by age groups in 2006 and 2015 [2]

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Late onset MS

The patient’s view


Prof. Anthony Reder

Ageing in MS: Neuroimmunological aspects

Prof. Gereon Nelles

MS in the middle-life or older patient in clinical practice

Prof. Gereon Nelles

MS in the middle-life or older patient in clinical practice


  • Vaughn CB et al. Nat Rev Neurol 2019; 15(6): 329-42. Return to content
  • Daltrozzo T et al. Front Neurol 2018; 9: 871. Return to content
  • UK Government. MS data briefing, February 2020. Available at: Return to content
  • Wallin MT et al. Neurology 2019; 92(10): e1029-40. Return to content
  • Rotstein DL et al. Neurology 2018; 90(16): e1435-41. Return to content
  • Smith Simonsen C et al. J Neurol 2021; 268(4): 1330-41. Return to content
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