HealthDay News — Early risk factors may predict health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for people with newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online Aug. 10 in Neurology.
Julia O’Mahony, Ph.D., from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and colleagues examined physical and mental HRQoL trajectories among people with MS and early risk factors for membership in the trajectory groups with the worst HRQoL. The analysis included 4,888 U.S. individuals participating in the NARCOMS registry within three years of MS diagnosis with physician-confirmed MS and at least three HRQoL observations.
The researchers identified five distinct physical HRQoL trajectories and four distinct mental HRQoL trajectories. Increased odds of being in the group with the worst physical HRQoL were seen among individuals with older age at diagnosis, worse physical impairments, and worse fatigue, compared with the four other groups. Membership in the group with the lowest mental HRQoL was associated with income ≤$50,000 and no postsecondary education.
“There are early risk factors for those who will end up in the groups with the worst health-related quality of life that are easily identifiable by doctors and other health professionals,” O’Mahony said in a statement. “For example, socioeconomic factors such as less education and income can be easily identified. This could provide an opportunity for early interventions that could help people with MS live better lives.”
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.