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MS Life Expectancy Improved But Not Equal

April 12, 2017

Over the past 60 years, life expectancy for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have improved, but it’s still seven years shorter than that of the general population, Norwegian cohort study finds.

Median life expectancy for MS patients is 77.2 years for women and 72.2 years for men, while the general population is 81.8 years. Life expectancy for patients with relapsing MS (RRMS) is 77.8 years and 71.5 years for those with primary progressive MS (PPMS). The study authors believe that because of the increased development of new therapies and improved care-taking for the disabled in the past decades, has improved the survival and life expectancy. Fred Lubin, MD, of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, who wasn’t involved in the study, stated that the results of it were similar to previous findings. However, what is encouraging of their findings is the decreasing mortality rate for MS over time.

The study also proved other findings, such as patients diagnosed at a younger age had a higher relative risk of dying than patients diagnosed at an older age. Also, women with MS had a slightly better survival advantage compared to men with MS. The study also showed that patients with RRMS outlived those with PPMS by almost seven years.

Similar studies have been conducted in Spain and Canada with a survival reduction of 6 to 6.5 years in patients with MS compared to the general population. This is more than the median survival rate with a study that was conducted in a 1969 study.

However, the Norwegian study findings have not been able to make a conclusive statement with the new advancement in MS treatment. Disease-modifying therapies for RRMS only began in the early 1990s and ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), and the new FDA-approved drug for patients with MS, can’t really be assessed in this study, since the drug was only recently approved.  

Via MedPage Today