Author(s): Sumelahti ML, Hakama M, Elovaara I, Pukkala E
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Several studies show a high mortality risk among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). OBJECTIVES: In this study, mortality and underlying causes of death were analysed among patients with MS diagnosed between 1964-1993 in Finland (n = 1595). METHODS: Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for both genders. The follow-up was based on linkage to the national computerized Cause-of-Death Register of Statistics Finland. RESULTS: Altogether, 464 deaths were recorded by the end of 2006. The SMR as compared with the general population among females was 3.4 (95\% confidence interval 3.0-3.9) and among males 2.2 (1.9-2.6). In total, 270 patients (58\%) died from MS; only one of these deaths occurred during the first 2 years after the MS diagnosis. Mortality was also increased for other natural causes of death (n = 160) in patients followed for more than 10 years (SMR 1.4, 1.2-1.7), with a significant increase in deaths from influenza (29, 6.0-85), pneumonia (4.7, 2.5-8.0) and gastrointestinal causes (4.4, 2.3-7.7). The SMR for violent causes was 1.2 (0.7-1.9) and for alcohol-related deaths 0.2 (0.02-0.7). The SMR for suicides was 1.7 (0.9-2.7). CONCLUSIONS: The MS population has an increased disease mortality, while the increase in the risk of accidents and suicides is not significantly increased among patients with MS in Finland.
This article was published in Mult Scler
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety