Patterns of comorbidity in people with multiple sclerosis

Takeaway

  • Multimorbidity in multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs in distinct patterns, including minimal disease, metabolic, nonmetabolic, mental health-allergy, and severe disease. People with MS are more likely to have a heavy disease burden if they are female, obese, older in age, or with moderate disability.

Why this matters

  • Multimorbidity is a common occurrence in people with MS. Seventy-seven per cent of people with MS have at least one comorbidity and 44% have three or more, with the burden of comorbidity increasing with disease duration.

  • Currently, comorbidities in people with MS are considered in isolation, despite their common co-occurrence. By identifying common groupings or patterns of co-occurring comorbidities, a “multimorbidity approach” to management could be undertaken allowing for more practical and tailored care.