Is MS Increasingly Becoming A Female’s Disease?


Golden Section Ratio
Photo credit: Patrick Hoesly

One of my sisters was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis long before my diagnosis and I’ve long thought MS was more common in a female.  But I find that belief is untrue.

In an April 26, 2007, article in ScienceDaily.com that stated “Over time, more women are developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than men . . . In 1940, the ratio of women to men with MS in the United States was approximately two to one. By 2000, that ratio had grown to approximately four to one.

That’s an increase in the ratio of women to men of nearly 50 percent per decade,’ said study author Gary Cutter, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. ‘We don’t yet know why more women are developing MS than men . . .’

We also need to ask the general questions about what women do differently than men, such as use of hair dye and use of cosmetics that may block vitamin D absorption,‘ he said. ‘At this point we’re just speculating on avenues of research that could be pursued.’

Cutter said the largest increase in the ratio has been for those whose MS started at younger ages.”

I’ve also thought women — in general — were more inclined to be much more touchy-feely than men.  Women who have MS seem to want to research and discuss their MS ad nauseam.  Men don’t like to dwell on their MS, but it affects on us are as dramatic as on women!

So, it isn’t that we aren’t sensitive to our condition but men with MS seem to want to understand their MS, but not talk about it.  Probably most, if not all, men have cried about having MS at least one time but we want and “need” to move on to find a way to get things back in working order.  Men are fixers and when we can’t fix something we get frustrated and even angry.  “Men Only Want to Fix Things and Women Only Want You to Listen.”  [See GoodMenProject.com.]

When men who have MS get together, we seem to prefer to sprinkle-in talk about our MS with the exception of discussing the treatments and experiences with our neurologists.  We get uncomfortable dwelling on how it impacts us.

Now, if I could only get my car to work as well . . .

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