Teens in the U.S. who have multiple sclerosis and who take an interferon-beta 1a medication are more likely to have a BMI in the overweight category. They are also more likely to experience disease relapses.
Scientists at the Pediatric MS Center at NYU Langone, New York, reported that U.S. adolescents with multiple sclerosis (MS) receiving interferon-beta 1a therapy had a higher body mass index (BMI), more relapses, and were managed differently compared to patients of similar age in seven other countries.
The study, “Subcutaneous interferon β-1a in pediatric patients with multiple sclerosis: Regional differences in clinical features, disease management, and treatment outcomes in an international retrospective study,“ was published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
While there is a consensus that children and adolescents who develop MS should start disease-modifying therapy as soon as possible, not much is known about how children react to these therapies, or how their disease is managed across countries.
A recent study of 298 children and adolescents with MS from the U.S., Italy, Russia, Argentina, France, Canada, Tunisia, and Venezuela found that children on interferon-beta 1a therapy tolerated adult doses of the drug well, concluding that the treatment reduced relapse rates.
In the new study, the same research team analyzed if treatment management and outcomes differed between children in the U.S. and those in the other seven countries. Patients in the U.S. constituted 44 percent of the total sample.