National Multiple Sclerosis Society

According to a nationwide study, Syracuse has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the country. The study, from the BlueCross/BlueShield Association, looked at medical claims from more than 41 million people across the country. In New York State, 31 out of every 10,000 have MS. Nationally, 24 people per  10,000 have MS.

"But for Syracuse it’s 45 people per 10,000," said Richard Lockwood, chief medical officer for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, who called it a dramatic difference.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

If you run a health insurance company, encouraging healthy lifestyles is good for business. The BlueCross BlueShield Blue Fund gave out $2.5 million Thursday to a dozen groups around Western New York that encourage healthy lifestyles, from drug treatment to increasing access to healthy food.