People with MS have been living longer than they did 40-50 years ago, especially since the introduction of disease-modifying medications. Researchers have noted that life expectancy and average age of persons with MS have increased significantly during the past two decades, but remains on average seven years less than the general population. Studies have shown that increased mortality rates are often related to comorbidities, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, depression, lung disease, or infectious diseases. (Marrie 2015)
As people with MS live longer, they begin to face more of the conditions traditionally associated with aging or advanced aged. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between concerns that are related to MS and those that may simply be related to aging. In a recent literature review, researchers discuss several factors related to aging and MS, including common comorbidities, that can help healthcare professionals distinguish between the effects of normal aging, relentless MS disease progression, a new disease common in aging, or some combination of these (Sanai et al, 2015).
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The Effect of Aging and Multiple Sclerosis