In patients with MS, obesity is associated with higher disease severity and poorer outcomes, according to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Bernhard Hemmer, MD, and colleagues conducted a cohort study among 1,066 individuals with newly diagnosed MS to examine the association between obesity and disability. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, relapse rates, MRI findings, and choice
of immunotherapy were compared at baseline and years 2, 4, and 6 for patients who were obese (BMI, ≥30 kg/m2) and non-obese (BMI, <30 kg/m2). Obesity at disease onset was associated with higher disability at baseline and at 2, 4, and 6 years. Median times to EDSS 3 were 0.99 and 1.46 years for patients with and without obesity, respectively. Compared with non-obese patients, patients with obesity had a significantly increased risk for reaching EDSS 3 over 6 years after adjustment for sex, age, and smoking (HR, 1.87) regardless of disease-modifying therapies.