Why is Multiple Sclerosis More Common in Blacks?
The disease attacks the central nervous system.
In the past, multiple sclerosis (MS) has been thought as a white disease. Apparently, not so much anymore.
According to new findings
, black women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with the illness in which the protective coating around the nerve fibers break down and slows signals traveling between the brain.
Among men, there was no difference.
The observed a group of patients representative of a large population, analyzing three year's worth of medical records of 3.5 million patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system. During that time, 496 people were diagnosed with MS.
Researchers found that in about a year, 10 out of every 100,000 blacks developed MS, compared to seven whites, three Latinos and one Asian per 100,000 patients. Over two-thirds of all MS diagnoses were in women and the gender gap was strong among blacks.
While it is still not clear why the frequency of the disease varies by race, about 25 percent of an individuals risk for the disease is thought to be genetic, but the rest may be linked to environmental influences such as a lack of vitamin D and smoking.
The newly found risks among blacks may be linked to the environment, however no specific evidence has been shared.
If someone experiences symptoms, such as numbness and tingling from the waist down or weakness on one side of the body, they should consider consulting a doctor for the disease does not discriminate against races or ethnicities.
Stay healthy, y’all.
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