When someone is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, they are often told that their lifespan will be about six to ten years shorter than a person who doesn’t have MS. While this is a rough estimate, it is important to understand that the gap between people with and without MS continues to close over time as treatments and care continue to improve.
The type of MS a person has also impacts their life expectancy. The majority of people with MS have relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), which is characterized by episodes of new or worsening symptoms, called relapses, interspersed with periods of recovery or remission. Over time, RRMS patients will eventually move into secondary progressive MS (SPMS), which is characterized by a steady progression of symptoms that do not come with relapses.
Studies of ms prognosis have shown that people with RRMS can expect to live 74.7 years on average, compared to 81.8 years in the general population. However, this is based on studies done prior to the availability of disease modifying medications for MS. As such, a person’s life expectancy could be even higher if they had access to effective treatment at the time of their diagnosis.
People with PPMS, on the other hand, are likely to experience a lower life expectancy of 71.4 years. This is due to the fact that PPMS is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms will gradually get worse over time, regardless of whether a person experiences relapses or not.
Another factor that impacts ms life expectancy is whether or not a person has other health issues that may impact their ability to manage MS. For example, if someone has additional conditions such as heart disease or respiratory problems, their ability to function with MS can be significantly affected.
While ms life expectancy is impacted by the type of MS and other factors, it’s important to remember that many people can live very fulfilling lives with MS. Having a supportive community, learning strategies to cope with symptoms and taking advantage of the latest in MS treatments can all help to ensure that a person’s quality of life is as good as possible for as long as they have the disease.
It is important to talk to your neurologist about your symptoms and lifestyle, so that they can give you an educated guess about what you can expect in terms of your ms prognosis. However, in the end, it’s important to remember that life with MS is a lot like any other illness — you have to take it day-to-day and do your best to stay healthy and active. You can connect with a support network by downloading our free MS Healthline app, available for iPhone and Android. You can also share advice and inspiration with others in an open forum on our site. Learn more about how to live well with MS by signing up for our free newsletter. You’ll receive treatment updates, self-care tips and inspiring stories.