The Particulars: Little is known about the burden of hospitalizations for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Data Breakdown: Researchers compared the primary admitting diagnoses of more than 1 million patients with MS to those of patients without MS, analyzing data by age group. More than 82% of all MS hospitalizations occurred in patients aged 30 to 69. The average length of stay was 5.8 days for MS patients and 4.5 days for non-MS patients. More MS patients had Medicare than non-MS patients. Urinary tract infections (UTIs), septicemia, pneumonia, chronic skin ulcers, and lower limb and femoral neck fractures were more common in MS patients than in non-MS patients.

Take Home Pearls: Hospitalized patients with MS appear to be younger, have longer lengths of stay, and use more Medicare resources than the general population. Systemic infection and inflammation appear to drive some MS relapses among patients with the disease.