For a study, researchers sought to explore the association between the length of time between the onset of disease and the beginning of therapy and the risk of receiving a disability pension. Patients who experienced the onset of their disease between January 1, 1996, and April 5, 2016, were tracked until either they received a disability pension or a competing risk/censoring event occurred. There were 7,859 patients that were evaluated to determine their eligibility, but the final cohort only included 5,208 participants. The following were considered essential requirements for participation in the study: a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis; a relapsing-remitting phenotype; a treatment history; age between 18 and 65 years; and an Expanded Disability Status Scale score of less than or equal to 4. Patients were divided into 3 groups based on how long it had been since their symptoms began before they received their first treatment: early (before 1 year), intermediate (between 1 and 4 years), and late (from 4 to 8 years). About 1,922 of the 5,208 patients were considered early, 2,126 were considered intermediate, and 1,160 were considered late. Both clinical and socioeconomic characteristics at the start were very evenly distributed. Cox regression estimates adjusted for clinical and socioeconomic confounders: intermediate (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.68) and late (HR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.55 to 2.51) stages of the disease. In patients diagnosed with RRMS, starting therapy earlier was related to a lower likelihood of later qualifying for a disability pension. The significance of early diagnosis and treatment on a patient-centered, socioeconomic disability milestone was shown by this finding.

Sources – jnnp.bmj.com/content/93/8/858