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Change and onset-type differences in the prevalence of comorbidities in people with multiple sclerosis


Lo, LMP and Taylor, BV and Winzenberg, T and Palmer, AJ and Blizzard, L and van der Mei, I, Change and onset-type differences in the prevalence of comorbidities in people with multiple sclerosis, Journal of Neurology, (September) pp. 1-11. ISSN 0340-5354 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020. Post-prints are subject to Springer Nature re-use terms

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00415-020-10194-x


Background: Little is known about the change in prevalence of comorbidities during the disease course of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and whether the prevalences vary by MS onset type.

Objective: To calculate the change in prevalence of comorbidities between symptom onset and the time of study, to compare the prevalences of comorbidities with those in the Australian population at the time of study and to examine onset-type differences.

Methods: Comorbidity data from 1518 participants of the Australian MS Longitudinal Study and Australian population comparator data (2014-2015 National Health Survey) were used. The change in prevalence between time points and prevalence ratios (PR) at the time of study (crude, age and sex adjusted, and stratified by onset type) was calculated.

Results: Comorbidities were common, and those with the largest increases in prevalence between MS symptom onset and the time of study were depression (+ 26.9%), anxiety (+ 23.1%), hypertension (+ 21.9%), elevated cholesterol (+ 16.3%), osteoarthritis (+ 17.1%), eye diseases (+ 11.6%), osteoporosis (+ 10.9%) and cancer (+ 10.3%). Compared to the general population and after age and sex adjustment, participants had a significantly higher prevalence for 14/19 comorbidities at the time of study. The associations were strongest for anaemia, cancer (both PR > 4.00), anxiety, depression, migraine (all PR > 3.00), psoriasis and epilepsy (both PR > 2.00). No significant differences were seen by onset type.

Conclusion: Comorbidities are common at MS symptom onset and increase with MS duration. Having MS may thus contribute to accrual of comorbidities. This emphasises the importance of optimal screening for and management of comorbidities in early MS and throughout the disease course.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:comorbidity, MS onset type, multiple sclerosis, prevalence, prevalence ratio
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lo, LMP (Miss Lara Lo)
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:Winzenberg, T (Professor Tania Winzenberg)
UTAS Author:Palmer, AJ (Professor Andrew Palmer)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
ID Code:140821
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-09-09
Last Modified:2022-08-23
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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