Causes of death among patients with multiple sclerosis.

Summary of "Causes of death among patients with multiple sclerosis."

Background: Several studies show a high mortality risk among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).Objectives: In this study, mortality and underlying causes of death were analysed among patients with MS diagnosed between 1964-1993 in Finland (n = 1595).Methods: Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for both genders. The follow-up was based on linkage to the national computerized Cause-of-Death Register of Statistics Finland.Results: Altogether, 464 deaths were recorded by the end of 2006. The SMR as compared with the general population among females was 3.4 (95% confidence interval 3.0-3.9) and among males 2.2 (1.9-2.6). In total, 270 patients (58%) died from MS; only one of these deaths occurred during the first 2 years after the MS diagnosis. Mortality was also increased for other natural causes of death (n = 160) in patients followed for more than 10 years (SMR 1.4, 1.2-1.7), with a significant increase in deaths from influenza (29, 6.0-85), pneumonia (4.7, 2.5-8.0) and gastrointestinal causes (4.4, 2.3-7.7). The SMR for violent causes was 1.2 (0.7-1.9) and for alcohol-related deaths 0.2 (0.02-0.7). The SMR for suicides was 1.7 (0.9-2.7).Conclusions: The MS population has an increased disease mortality, while the increase in the risk of accidents and suicides is not significantly increased among patients with MS in Finland.


Faculty of Medicine, University of Tampere, Finland.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
ISSN: 1477-0970


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A form of multiple sclerosis characterized by a progressive deterioration in neurologic function which is in contrast to the more typical relapsing remitting form. If the clinical course is free of distinct remissions, it is referred to as primary progressive multiple sclerosis. When the progressive decline is punctuated by acute exacerbations, it is referred to as progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis. The term secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is used when relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis evolves into the chronic progressive form. (From Ann Neurol 1994;36 Suppl:S73-S79; Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp903-914)

A non-glycosylated form of interferon beta-1 that has a serine at position 17. It is used in the treatment of both RELAPSING-REMITTING MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS and CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

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An autoimmune disorder mainly affecting young adults and characterized by destruction of myelin in the central nervous system. Pathologic findings include multiple sharply demarcated areas of demyelination throughout the white matter of the central nervous system. Clinical manifestations include visual loss, extra-ocular movement disorders, paresthesias, loss of sensation, weakness, dysarthria, spasticity, ataxia, and bladder dysfunction. The usual pattern is one of recurrent attacks followed by partial recovery (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, RELAPSING-REMITTING), but acute fulminating and chronic progressive forms (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE) also occur. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p903)

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