Neighborhood-level socioeconomics tied to MS disability progression

(HealthDay)—Lower neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with a higher risk for disability progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study recently published in Neurology.

Katharine E. Harding, Ph.D., from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues examined the association between SES and disability outcomes and progression in MS using health administrative and MS clinical data from 2,069 patients with MS in Canada and 1,044 patients with MS in Wales. SES was measured based on neighborhood-level average income.

The researchers found that a higher SES was associated with a lower hazard of reaching Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 6.0 (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.9), EDSS 4.0 (aHR, 0.93), and secondary progression of MS (aHR, 0.94). Similar trends were seen when all EDSS scores were included.

“Reasons for this association are likely to be complex but could include factors amenable to modification, such as lifestyle or comorbidity,” the authors write. “Our findings are relevant for planning and development of MS services.”

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