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Comorbidity patterns in people with multiple sclerosis: A latent class analysis of the Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study


Lo, LMP and Taylor, BVM and Winzenberg, T and Palmer, AJ and Blizzard, L and Hussain, MA and van der Mei, I, Comorbidity patterns in people with multiple sclerosis: A latent class analysis of the Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study, European Journal of Neurology, 28, (7) pp. 2269-2279. ISSN 1351-5101 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 European Academy of Neurology

DOI: doi:10.1111/ene.14887


Background and purpose: This study was undertaken to identify clinically meaningful comorbidity patterns and their associations with the demographic/clinical characteristics of people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: We conducted latent class analysis to identify clinically distinct comorbidity patterns in MS using the 15 most common comorbidities among 1518 Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study participants. The associations between demographic/clinical characteristics and comorbidity patterns were examined using log-binomial and multinomial logistic regression.

Results: Five distinct comorbidity patterns were identified: "minimally diseased class" (30.8%), consisting of participants with no or one comorbidity; "metabolic class" (22.7%); "mental health-allergy class" (21.7%); "nonmetabolic class" (7.6%); and "severely diseased class" (7.0%), consisting of participants with higher prevalence of these comorbidities. The relative probabilities of being assigned to comorbidity classes compared to the minimally diseased class were significantly increased for participants who were older (metabolic: relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06-1.11; nonmetabolic: RRR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.04-1.11; severely diseased: RRR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01-1.08), female (nonmetabolic: RRR = 5.35, 95% CI = 1.98-14.42; severely diseased: RRR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.02-4.77), and obese (metabolic: RRR = 4.06, 95% CI = 2.45-6.72; mental health-allergy: RRR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.00-2.46; severely diseased: RRR = 4.53, 95% CI = 2.21-9.29) and who had moderate disability (mental health-allergy: RRR = 2.32, 95% CI = 1.47-3.64; severely diseased: RRR = 2.65, 95% CI = 1.16-6.04).

Conclusions: Comorbidity patterns exist in MS. Women, people who were older, people who were obese, and people who had higher disability levels were more likely to be in classes with higher levels of comorbidity. These findings may offer opportunities for designing more personalised approaches to comorbidity prevention and treatment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:clinical characteristics, comorbidity, comorbidity patterns, demographics, latent class analysis, multiple sclerosis
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Lo, LMP (Miss Lara Lo)
UTAS Author:Taylor, BVM (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:Hussain, MA (Dr Akhtar Hussain)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
ID Code:147115
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-10-13
Last Modified:2022-08-23

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