Patients With Multiple Sclerosis Face Greater Infection Risk

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Patients with MS also have a higher risk for serious hospitalized-related infections compared with hospitalized patients without MS.
Patients with MS also have a higher risk for serious hospitalized-related infections compared with hospitalized patients without MS.

The following article is part of conference coverage from the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Berlin, Germany. Neurology Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from ECTRIMS 2018.

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at an increased risk for any infections, particularly renal tract infections, according to a study presented at the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, held October 10-12, 2018, in Berlin, Germany. According to the study's presenter, Susan Jick, DSc, patients with MS also have a higher risk for serious hospitalized-related infections compared with hospitalized patients without MS. 



“MS is the major permanently disabling neurological disease affecting young adults,” the researchers wrote. “Recent data on rates of infections in patients after MS diagnosis are sparse. We describe infections in patients after MS diagnosis and compared them to a matched non-MS patient population.”

Investigators obtained data from the UK CPRD, including only patients who were diagnosed with MS between 2001 and 2015 (n=6932). Patients with MS were matched with patients without MS based on age, sex, and record history length (n=68,526). For the purposes of their analysis, the researchers measured incidence rates and incidence rate ratio (IRRs) of first infection by infection type after identifying infections that were recorded after the date of MS diagnosis.

During a median follow-up period of 5 years, patients with MS had higher rates of any infection vs patients without MS (IRR 1.25; 95% CI, 1.21-1.29). Additionally, patients with MS had a higher risk of serious hospital-related infections (IRR 2.00; 95% CI, 1.84-2.17). Females had higher rates of any infection when compared with males in both groups. Compared with patients without MS, patients with MS also had a higher rate of first urinary tract or kidney infection (IRR 1.97; 95% CI, 1.86-2.09).

In addition, patients with MS had higher rates of fungal infections (eg, predominantly candidiasis) compared with patients without MS (IRR 1.37; 95% CI, 1.29-1.45). Finally, the researchers found a higher rate of any opportunistic infection among MS vs patients without MS ; however, this risk varied by type of infection (IRR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.26-1.45).

For more coverage of ECTRIMS 2018, click here.

Reference

Jick S. Increased risk of infections in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS): a study in the UK Clinical Practice Research Database (CPRD). Presented at: 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. October 10-12, 2018; Berlin, Germany. Abstract P1051.

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