Multiple sclerosis may double early mortality risk in younger patients, study shows

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Multiple sclerosis may double early mortality risk in younger patients, study shows

The mortality rate is double in younger patients with multiple sclerosis, compared to those without multiple sclerosis. Despite this disheartening news, survival is starting to improve.

Multiple sclerosis may double early mortality risk for younger patients, compared to individuals without multiple sclerosis (MS). Research has found that the risk of early mortality for younger MS patients is 59 percent greater than those without the condition. Study author Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie said, “Despite studies that show MS survival may be improving over time, the more than 2.3 million people affected worldwide by this disabling disease still face a risk of dying earlier, specifically those who are diagnosed younger.”

The researchers reviewed the health system use of 5,797 people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and 28,807 healthy matched control individuals. The researchers found that multiple sclerosis patients lived on average 76 years and those without multiple sclerosis lived 83 years.

The researchers also examined if patients had other illness, including diabetes, depression, and epilepsy. The researchers found that having other conditions did not contribute to a shortened lifespan in multiple sclerosis patients, compared to those without MS but with other health problems. What they did find was, other conditions did shorten MS patients’ lifespan, compared to individuals without MS and without other conditions.

Marrie concluded, “Treating other conditions better may be a way of improving survival.”

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