Comobidities are common in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the U.S., with the most frequent being high cholesterol and blood pressure, followed by gastrointestinal disease, thyroid disease, and anxiety, a database analysis reports.
But distinctions exist between the sexes, this claims analysis found.
High cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as diabetes and alcohol abuse, were more common among male patients than female. Women, however, were more likely to file for problems related to gastrointestinal and thyroid diseases, chronic lung disease, arthritis, anxiety, and depression.
The study, “Comorbidity in US patients with multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Patient Related Outcome Measures. The researchers were suppored in this work by EMD Serono (a division of Merck KGaA); one is a company employee.
Comorbidities are other conditions present in patients with a particular disease. In MS, these other illnesses — which can be independent — can have negative consequences, including a delay in MS diagnosis, greater disability progression, poorer quality of life, increased hospitalization rates, and a higher risk of death.
Published studies of comorbidities in MS patients in the United States are limited, the researchers wrote.
The team conducted a retrospective study to assess comorbidity trends in U.S. patients with MS between 2006 to 2014. Researchers also looked for links between comorbid health problems and patients’ sex, age, and geographic region.
A large U.S. claims database — the IMS Health Real World Data Adjudicated Claims, which holds information on some 5 million patients — was used. Between 23,695 and 35,732 MS patients were among each year’s claims groups.
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