Multiple Sclerosis and Life Expectancy

In a Canadian study to investigate the association between concurrent diseases and survival, a group of over 5000 MS patients was compared to another group of about 28000 people from the general population.

The research team observed a shorter life expectancy in the MS group. The median survival was 76 and 83 years, for the MS group and the general population, respectively. In both groups, concurrent diseases were found to have a significant impact on life expectancy. The magnitude of the observed impact was not higher in the MS group.

A similar study was conducted in Norway to investigate survival and cause of death in a sample of patients with MS patients compared to the general population. Over a period of 60 years, people diagnosed with MS were enrolled in the study. A median survival of 75 years was observed in the MS sample against 82 years in the general population—also a difference of 7 years, similar to the results of the previous study described above.

In additional to presenting evidence of the difference in life expectancy between both populations, some studies conducted interim analyses at different time points over time. It has been shown that the difference in life expectancy between both populations tends to decrease with time. This means that the difference in life expectancy used to be higher a few decades ago compared to today.

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