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Study shows lifespan, MS duration link


A new study in France showed a moderate decrease in life expectancy in MS patients, and showed that the risk of dying is strongly correlated to disease duration and disability. Researchers highlight the need for early actions that can slow disability progression.

The study’s authors wanted to estimate the survival in MS patients in comparison to the French general population. Looking at the data for 27,603 MS patients, researchers discovered that death rates were significantly higher in men, patients with later clinical onset, and in progressive MS. Overall excess mortality compared with the general population was moderate, but increased considerably after 20 years of disease.

The study’s authors conclude there is a moderate decrease in life expectancy for MS patients, and that the risk of dying is strongly linked with disease duration, and probably disability progression. They note that even though excess mortality starts only after 20 years of disease duration, interventions such as disease modifying therapies or multidisciplinary care should be started as soon as possible in the disease course in order to maximize their ability in slowing down disability progression.

The findings were published in the journal PLoS One.

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