Manouchehrinia A, et al. Tobacco smoking and excess mortality in multiple sclerosis: a cohort study. J. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014 Feb. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-307187. [Epub ahead of print]
OBJECTIVE: As patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have more than 2.5-fold increased mortality risk, we sought to investigate the impact of tobacco smoking on the risk of premature death and its contribution to the excess mortality in MS patients.
METHODS: We studied 1032 patients during the period 1994-2013 in a UK-based register. Smoking-specific mortality rates were compared with the UK general population.
RESULTS: Of 923 patients with clinically definite MS, 80 (46 males and 34 females) had died by December 2012. HRs for death in current smokers and ex-smokers relative to never smokers were 2.70 (95% CI 1.59 to 4.58, p<0.001) and 1.30 (95% CI 0.72 to 2.32; p = 0.37). The standardised mortality ratio, compared with the UK general population, when stratified by smoking status was 3.83 (95% CI 2.71 to 5.42) in current smokers, 1.96 (95% CI 1.27 to 3.0) in ex-smokers and 1.27 (95% CI 0.87 to 1.86) in non-smokers. Never smokers and ex-smokers with MS had similar mortality rates compared with never smokers and ex-smokers without MS in the male British doctors cohort (1.12 (95% CI 0.63 to 1.97) and 0.54 (95% CI 0.26 to 1.14), respectively), while current smokers with MS had 84% higher rate of death compared with current smokers without MS (95% CI 1.24 to 2.72).
CONCLUSIONS: Tobacco smoking can account for some of the excess mortality associated with MS and is a risk determinant for all-cause and MS-related death.
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