Having other health conditions, or comorbidities, along with multiple sclerosis (MS) does not increase a person’s risk of being hospitalized due to MS-specific symptoms, although it does raise the rate of all-cause hospital admissions, a study found.
The finding was described in “Impact of comorbidity on hospitalizations in individuals newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal population-based study,” published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.
Disease comorbidities — other health conditions present in a person at the same time as a primary condition — are common among people with MS, and can affect the disease’s progression and prognosis.
Previous studies had suggested that people with MS who also have comorbidities are at a higher risk of being hospitalized. However, not many studies have looked into this possibility in depth.
With this in mind, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, in Canada, investigated the possible link between having MS comorbidities and being at higher risk for hospitalization.
The team used records from an administrative database of the Saskatchewan population, covering the time period between Jan. 1, 1996, and Dec. 31, 2017, to identify and follow-up people who developed MS during this time.
Included in the study were the comorbidities thought to be the most common or relevant among MS patients — namely hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia (excessive blood fats), ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, migraines, epilepsy, and mood and anxiety disorders.
Among the nearly 1.2 million population of Saskatchewan, 2,275 people developed MS during the study period, and researchers were able to follow their history for a mean time of 8.7 years. Hospitalization records were analyzed dating back to Jan. 1, 2001.
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