Research: the early cost of MS

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Epub: Jennum et al. The socioeconomic consequences of optic neuritis with and without multiple sclerosis: a controlled national study.Acta Neurol Scand. 2012 Jul . doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2012.01703.x.

OBJECTIVES: Optic neuritis (ON) often precedes MS. MS is associated with a significant socioeconomic burden. However, the burden of ON with and without MS before and after its diagnosis has never been calculated.

METHODS: Using complete national records from the Danish National Patient Registry (1998-2006), we identified 1677 patients with ON and compared them with 6708 randomly selected citizens matched for age, sex and geography. A societal perspective is taken towards the cost analyses. Costs included in the analysis are those of the health sector, including all contacts with primary and secondary sectors, and the use and costs of drugs. Productivity losses included labour supply and income. All social transfer payments were also calculated.

RESULTS: People with ON (ONers) had higher rates of contact with healthcare services, medication use and income from employment, all of which incurred a higher socioeconomic cost. Employed ONers had lower income than control subjects. The total annual excess costs relative to matched controls were €3501 for ONers and €9215 for MSers with a dual diagnosis of ON and MS. The ONers and ONers+MSers received an annual mean excess social transfer income of €1175 and €4619. ONers+MSers presented social and economic consequences up to 8 years before diagnosis, and these increased after the diagnosis was established.

CONCLUSIONS: ON, especially if combined with a diagnosis of MS, has a significant socioeconomic consequence for the individuals and for society. Productivity losses are a far more important economic factor than health sector costs.

Image to the left is what a typical person with mild ON would see!

 “Are you surprised with these results? Awhile back I posted that MSers presenting with CIS, of which ON makes up a 35-40%, is already associated with cognitive changes that may also impact on QoL and economic aspects of the disease. Therefore I am not surprised with these results. The data is set is very robust; it is not every day of the week you get data on 1600+ ONers!”

Post of interest:

Multiple Sclerosis Research: Cognitive impairment starts early in MS,12 Aug 2011; Objective:
This study assessed whether abnormalities on functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) are related to cognitive function in people at
presentation with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) suggestive of MS.

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

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