Keeping cool: Use of air conditioning by Australians with multiple sclerosis

Michael Summers, Rex D Simmons, George Verikios

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Despite the known difficulties many people with MS have with high ambient temperatures, there are no reported studies of air conditioning use and MS. This study systematically examined air conditioner use by Australians with MS. A short survey was sent to all participants in the Australian MS Longitudinal Study cohort with a response rate of 76 (n=2, 385). Questions included hours of air-conditioner use, areas cooled, type and age of equipment, and the personal effects of overheating. Air conditioners were used by 81.9 of respondents, with an additional 9.6 who could not afford an air conditioner. Regional and seasonal variation in air conditioning use was reported, with a national annual mean of 1,557 hours running time. 90.7 reported negative effects from overheating including increased fatigue, an increase in other MS symptoms, reduced household and social activities, and reduced work capacity. Households that include people with MS spend between 4 and 12 times more on keeping cool than average Australian households.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1 - 6
    Number of pages6
    JournalMultiple Sclerosis International
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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