A web-blog (formerly known as Stu's Views and MS News), now published by MS Views and News, a patient advocacy organization. The information on this blog helps to Empower those affected by Multiple Sclerosis globally, with education, information, news and community resources.
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My name is Trevis Gleason and I live with multiple sclerosis.
How many times haven’t I started a speech with that line? Hell, it’s an important factor in my book, Chef Interrupted, I live with my disease. I consider myself a healthy person living with an incurable disease, and I try to get on with the living part of my life every day.
Yesterday was World MS Day and, as I stated in my blog for MS Ireland on that day, “It would be disingenuous of me to simply say that I’m always stronger than this disease. I’d be stretching the truth if I said that I live all my days not letting MS get to me. And it would be an outright lie to take full (or even majority) credit for being #strongerthanMS.”
Well some editor sure harshed my mellow yesterday – a day we were all telling ourselves and others that we are strong. A study published in Neurology informs us that “new research suggests people with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have double the risk of dying early compared to people without MS, with those younger than 59 at a three times higher risk.”
So much for feeling all hashtaggy about my strength…
The good news? People with MS (specifically people living with MS in Manitoba, Canada) live to be an average of 75.9 years. The bad news: The matched cohort without MS live to be 83.4 years. The general thought here is that MS shaves about 9 percent from our lifespans.
More good news: People with MS seemed to die less frequently from chronic lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease than the control group (which included 83.2 percent of those studied). Sounds like we are, indeed, a healthy population living with an incurable disease.
So what did the 17.8 percent in the study who had MS die from? “The most common causes of death in the MS population were diseases of the nervous system and diseases of the circulatory system. Mortality rates due to infectious diseases and diseases of the respiratory system were higher in the MS,” the researchers found.
All the more reason to keep keeping ourselves in good condition… for the condition we’re in – to paraphrase the 1960s song.