High blood pressure was found to be 42% more common among MS patients than non-patients adjusted for sex and age, with male patients ages 70 and older most at risk. Its prevalence was 25% higher among patients than others when adjusting for race, with Blacks with MS more likely to be affected than whites, the researchers found.
Their study, “The prevalence of hypertension in multiple sclerosis based on 37 million electronic health records from the United States,” was published in the European Journal of Neurology.
Hypertension is a common comorbidity (co-occurring condition) in MS patients, and it is frequently associated with poorer outcomes for patients.
However, its prevalence among people with MS has not been well characterized, with an occurrence reported to range between 0 and 47.8%.
Other studies report contradictory results.
A team at Case Western Reserve University led an extensive study of the American population to better assess the prevalence of hypertension in people with MS.
It analyzed electronic health records from the IBM Explorys Enterprise Performance Management: Explore database (Explorys), a multi-institutional database covering 63 million people in the U.S.
In total, data on 122,660 MS patients (MS group) were analyzed, and compared with data on 37.1 million people without the disease (non-MS group). All were matched by age, sex, and race.
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