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Ever told have multiple sclerosis

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MULTSCLEREV identifies sample adults who ever had Multiple sclerosis. In 2002, interviewers asked, "Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had Multiple sclerosis?" In 2008, the question did not specify professional diagnosis; rather, interviewers simply asked, "Have you ever had Multiple sclerosis?"

The Mayo Clinic website provides the following definition of Multiple sclerosis:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating disease in which your body's immune system eats away at the protective sheath that covers your nerves. This interferes with the communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Ultimately, this may result in the deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that is not reversible. Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and which particular nerves are affected.


As noted above, the question wording for MULTSCLEREV differed between 2002 and 2008, with diagnosis by a health professional required only in 2002. However, self-diagnosis of Multiple sclerosis (at least without eventual professional evaluation) seems unlikely, so the effect of the change in question wording is probably minimal.


  • 2002; 2008: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2002, 2008