Multiple Sclerosis Increases Stroke Risk

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with an increased risk of stroke, especially in those aged 40 and under, according to a study published in the European Journal of Neurology.

Patients with MS are more likely to have a stroke than patients without MS, regardless of comorbidities, reported Yeong-Jing Cheng, PhD, of the National Taiwan Normal University in Taichung, Taiwan, and colleagues.

The researchers identified 1,174 patients with MS and 4,696 randomly-selected age- and gender-matched controls from a national insurance claim data set of 22 million enrollees in Taiwan, spanning from Jan. 1, 1997 to Dec. 31, 2010. They followed up with each group until the occurrence of stroke or censor. Covariates such as age, gender, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and pregnancy were also included.

The results indicate that the MS group had an increased risk of stroke compared with the control group within five years of follow-up (HR = 12.1 for 1 year and HR = 4.69 for 2 to 5 years). In patients without comorbidities, the MS group still had an increased stroke risk compared with the control group (HR = 4.93). For patients with MS, the stroke risk was highest in patients aged ≤40 years (HR = 12.7).

These results indicate that MS patients require more attention for stroke prevention, especially in high-risk younger patients.

stroke with hemorrhage
Multiple Sclerosis Increases Stroke Risk

Inflammatory processes including autoimmune diseases which ignite endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis may promote development of cardiovascular diseases including ischaemic stroke. This study aimed to evaluate whether multiple sclerosis (MS) increases stroke risk.

After adjusting for the relevant covariates, the MS cohort had an increased risk of stroke (adjusted HR = 12.1 for 1 year; adjusted HR = 4.69 for 2–5 years) compared with the control cohort within 5 years of follow-up. Amongst participants without comorbidities, the MS cohort was still at a greater stroke risk than the control cohort [HR 4.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.85–8.55]. Moreover, in the population aged ≤40, MS was associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke (HR 12.7, 95% CI 3.44–46.7).

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