THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Comorbidities increase the rate of all-cause, but not multiple sclerosis (MS)-specific, hospital admissions among patients with MS, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Lina Al-Sakran, from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and colleagues used administrative data in Saskatchewan, Canada (1996 to 2017) to identify patients’ date of the first claim for MS or a demyelinating condition as well as all hospitalizations following the index point.

The researchers found that patients with comorbidities had a higher rate of all-cause hospitalizations versus those without any comorbidity (adjusted risk ratio, 1.72; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.48 to 1.99), but comorbidities did not increase the odds of having an MS-specific hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio, 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.59 to 0.99). Increased all-cause hospitalizations were specifically associated with diabetes, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, epilepsy, and mood disorders. Longer disease duration was associated with decreases in both all-cause and MS-specific admissions.

“Recognizing and managing comorbidity in the MS population, especially early in the disease course, will likely have the biggest impact on reducing overall hospital admissions,” the authors write.

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