Costs associated with multiple sclerosis increase as the disease worsens, according to a study of more than 16,000 patients in 16 European countries.
The study, “New insights into the burden and costs of multiple sclerosis in Europe,” was published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.
Researchers obtained their information from patient self-reporting. Patients used the Kurtzke’s Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) to assess the severity of their disease. They also reported on their quality of life and their resource use.
Patients were divided into three categories. Those with a score between 0 and 3 on the EDSS scale were deemed to have a mild disease. The disease of those with scores of 4 to 6.5 was considered moderate. And the disease of those with scores of 7 to 9 was classified as severe.
Patients assessed their health-related quality of life with the EuroQol Five Dimensions questionnaire.
The average age of the 16,808 participants was 51 1/2.
The work capacity of MS patients dropped from 82 percent of a healthy person’s to 8 percent as the severity of the disease increased, researchers said.
Patients’ quality of life scores were about the same as those seen in the general population when they had a mild disease. But they plunged to less than zero when their disease became severe.
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