BMI, Lipid Levels Influence Multiple Sclerosis Disease Course

lipid blood test
lipid blood test
Higher BMI and lipid levels were associated with greater risk of relapse and disability progression.

Lowering body mass index (BMI) and improving lipid-related measures may help improve multiple sclerosis (MS) disease course in patients with an initial clinical diagnosis of demyelination, findings presented at the 32nd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), taking place September 14-17, 2016 in London, indicate.

With limited data available on how lipid measures and BMI affect MS disease activity and progression, researchers led by Ingrid van der Mei, PhD, of the Menzies Institute of Medical Research at the University of Tasmania in Australia, sought to quantify the influence of these measures on disease course in 279 patients from the Ausimmune Study with a first clinical diagnosis of demyelination.

Height, weight, and serum samples to measure lipid profiles and apolipoprotein levels were collected at baseline. Participants were followed for up to 5 years.

Using survival analysis and linear regression, the researchers found that, at baseline, higher BMI (Adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 1.04 (95% CI 1.01, 1.08) P =.014) and triglyceride levels (AHR 1.20 (95% CI 1.03, 1.40) P =.021) were associated with an increased risk of subsequent relapse, whereas higher BMI (β 0.01 (95% CI 0.001, 0.13) P =.010) and cholesterol ratio (β 0.05 (95% CI 0.001, 0.10) P =.044) were associated with a greater annual change in disability. Notably, no lipid-related measures were found to be significantly associated with conversion to clinically definite MS.

The authors concluded that restoring body weight and lipid measures to a healthy level may have a positive influence on MS disease course.

The authors report no relevant disclosures.

For more coverage of ECTRIMS 2016, go here. 


van der Mei I, Tettey P, Simpson Jr S, Taylor B, Lucas R, Ponsonby AL. An adverse lipid profile and increased body mass index significantly predicts clinical course after a first demyelinating event. Presented at: ECTRIMS 2016. September 14-17, 2016; London, UK. Poster 317.