Higher BMI Associated With MOGAD, Not NMO in Racially Diverse Population

Patients with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–associated disease compared with patients with neuromyelitis optica have a higher BMI.

A higher body mass index (BMI) is seen among patients with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–associated disease (MOGAD), compared with those with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), according to study results presented at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting held, from May 31 to June 3 in Aurora, Colorado.

Recent literature has suggested an association between obesity and MOGAD among White individuals. However, there is no significant association between obesity and anti-aquaporin 4 seropositive NMO in this patient population.

For the study, researchers aimed to assess the relationship between obesity and diagnosis of MOGAD and NMO in a diverse population. 

A database from an academic health network in southeastern Wisconsin was used to conduct a retrospective chart review. All patients with seropositive MOGAD or NMO were identified, and the researchers compared the BMI documented at the first clinical presentation. 

Future studies to examine how obesity affects the risk of MOGAD are warranted.

Study participants with BMI information at the time of first clinical presentation prior to steroid or other treatments were included in the study. Statistical analysis was conducted using multivariable linear modeling, adjusted for age, sex, and race. 

Of the 51 participants, 20 patients had NMO and 31 patients had MOGAD at presentation. The average age was 44.6 years (SD, 13.9 years) for patients with MOGAD and 67.7% of participants were women. Among patients with NMO, the average age was 42.4 years (SD, 15.5 years) and 90% were women. While patients with MOGAD were predominantly Caucasian (71.9%), patients with NMO were mostly African American (70%). 

The average BMI for patients with NMO and MOGAD was 28.7 (±7.5) and 32.1 (±7.4) kg/m2, respectively. The researchers reported an adjusted increase of 5.9% in BMI among patients with MOGAD when compared with NMO (P =.04)

“Obesity may be an independent risk factor for MOGAD. Future studies to examine how obesity affects the risk of MOGAD are warranted,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Fenton K, Porwal MH, Salter A, et al. Obesity is associated with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–associated disease but not anti-aquaporin 4 neuromyelitis optica in a racially diverse cohort. Abstract presented at: CMSC 2023; May 31-June 3, 2023; Aurora, CO. Abstract EPI03.