The UK MS Society has published research suggesting that 130,000 people are living with MS in the UK, around 20% more than previously thought. The previous prevalence figure for the UK was thought to be 110,000.

The UK MS Society worked with a British government body called Public Health England to uncover these statistics.

The new figures do not mean that the risk of developing MS has increased. A rise in numbers could indicate improvements in the way MS is diagnosed, better medical data, and the fact that people are living longer with MS.

The predicted number of new cases of MS identified each year has also increased from 5,000 to 6,700.

This suggests around one in every 500 people in the UK is living with MS, with about 130 people diagnosed every week on average.

The UK MS Society has used this data to call on the UK Government to better support people living with MS.

Dr Susan Kohlhaas, the UK MS Society’s Director of Research and External Affairs, said:


‘While the National Health Service is getting better at diagnosing and recording cases of MS, in many ways society is getting worse at supporting people with the condition.

The Government to step up and create an expanded and sustainable social care system, overhaul the way benefits are assessed, and strengthen rights for employee support.’

This new data from the UK will feed into MSIF’s update of the Atlas of MS data, which will be released in September 2020.


This text was adapted from a UK MS Society which you can read here.