A new study conducted by scientists sheds light about the life expectancy of people with multiple sclerosis.
David Kaufman, ScD, of the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, is the lead author. The work is the result of a collaboration between the investigators at BU and their colleagues at University of California San Francisco, the University of Alabama, Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Care-Safe LLC, a consulting firm and the sponsor of the research, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.
The investigators used health insurance claims data to identify a series of patients with MS and a comparison group of individuals from the same health plans who did not have MS.
A total of 30,402 MS patients and 89,818 non-MS subjects who were in the OptumInsight Research (OIR) database from 1996-2009 were included in the study. Data on deaths was obtained from government databases of death records. Annual mortality rates were 899/100,000 in MS patients and 446/100,000 in comparators.
The median lifespan was 6 years less among the MS patients than among the non-MS group.
While early mortality due to MS is relatively rare, the new data confirm that compared to the general population, MS patients in the US do experience a decrease in life expectancy.
The study has been published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.