There is scarce information in Latin America regarding the prevalence of anxiety in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and its association with different clinical-demographic factors.
We aimed to determine the prevalence of anxiety in Argentinian MS patients and to analyze associated factors.
A cross-sectional analysis was performed with consecutive MS outpatients from two centers in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Anxiety was evaluated according to the anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-A).
Eighty-three patients were included. Fifty-three (63%) were females, mean age: 46 (SD=13.9) years. Forty-five percent (n = 38) had anxiety according to the HADS-A. Patients with anxiety were significantly younger (42.2 vs 49.1 years, p = 0.02), had a shorter time since diagnosis (8.3 vs 12.3 years, p = 0.02), had a history of psychiatric disorders (36.8% vs 8.8%, p = 0.002), were depressed (57.8% vs 2.2%, p<0.001) and had worse health-related quality of life according to the COOP/Wonca questionnaire (mean score: 21.5 vs 15.2, p<0.001). Depression (OR: 15.2, 95% CI 1.4-157.3, p = 0.02) and worse health-related quality of life (OR: 1.2,95% CI 1-1.4, p = 0.008) remained significantly associated with anxiety after adjusting for all other significant variables. No differences were observed regarding sex, marital and occupational status, education, family history of psychiatric disorders, disease course and disability according to the EDSS.
The prevalence of anxiety in Argentinian MS outpatients was higher than previously reported in other populations. Anxiety was strongly associated with negative outcomes such as depression and reduced health-related quality of life. These results emphasize the burden of psychiatric morbidity in Argentinian MS patients.

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