Incidence and prevalence are two terms that are frequently used in epidemiology but are often mixed up or used incorrectly. Epidemiology is a branch of research that studies the distribution and determinants of health and illness within populations. Data generated from epidemiological research informs public health and can help understand the history of a disease and determine who is at risk of developing a disease. Distinguishing these two terms is important when discussing the patterns, causes, and effects of MS in the population.
What do incidence and prevalence mean?
During the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting, researchers shared their thoughts and presented recent discoveries on risk factors and susceptibility in multiple sclerosis (MS)—a hot topic in the field. Who develops this chronic illness and why are questions that are still puzzling the research community. In general, it’s agreed that a combination of genes and environmental factors likely play a role in the development of MS.
There is an expanding list of risk factors associated with MS including those that fall in the following categories: environmental, infectious and genetic. The studies reported in this blog will focus primarily on environmental risk factors.