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Quitting Smoking, Boosting Vitamin D Reduces MS Healthcare Costs, Improves Outcomes

October 30, 2017

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who quit smoking have better health outcomes than those who continue. Therefore, MS-related costs can be reduced by encouraging smokers to quit. Similar results were observed in MS patients with healthy vitamin D levels, Maura Pugliatti, from the University of Ferrara, in Italy, said Friday in a presentation at the 7th Joint ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS Meeting in Paris, France.

In a presentation titled, “Promoting healthier lifestyle contributes to averting multiple sclerosis long-term societal and healthcare costs: results from the VoT project,” the team shared results of an analysis that used data from scientific literature to determine how smoking and low vitamin D levels contribute to increased MS progression or disability levels.

The team analyzed data from the Value of Treatment (VoT) Project, an effort to provide evidence-based and cost-effective policy recommendations for a more patient-focused and sustainable coordinated care model for people with brain disorders, including MS.

Researchers built a model comparing disability levels and the likelihood of progressing from relapsing to secondary progressive MS between people who had stopped smoking and those who continued. They also compared people who took action to increase vitamin D levels with those who did not.

The results showed that quitting smoking and increasing vitamin D levels significantly improved health outcomes, measured by gains in Quality Adjusted Life-Years (QALYs), a measure that takes into account both the quality of life and the number of years lived with a disease.

Additionally, quitting smoking and increasing vitamin D levels led to healthcare savings of $2,900-$19,026 per case of smoking cessation and $505-$7,205 per case of increased vitamin D levels.