June 22, 2023
Prevalence and Treatment of Diabetes and Hypertension in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Summary: A population-based study in the UK examined the prevalence and treatment of type 2 diabetes and hypertension in people living with multiple sclerosis at time of their MS diagnosis compared to the general population. The study found an increased prevalence of hypertension and type 2 diabetes in people living with MS compared to the general population, along with lower rates of treatment for these conditions. Based on these findings, improved clinical guidelines are needed to better support people living with MS and these conditions.
Details: A team of researchers including Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie (University of Manitoba) examined the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension at the time of MS diagnosis compared to the general population. They also looked at the use of medications to treat these other conditions (comorbidities) to understand how they were being managed in this population. This population-based study assessed data from 12,251 individuals with MS and compared them to 72,572 controls in England between 1987 to 2018.
Results: The study found the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 7.2% at time of MS diagnosis in the studied group. The data indicated that people living with MS had a 30% increased prevalence in type 2 diabetes when compared with the general population. This group however had a 56% lower prevalence of antidiabetic medications to treat diabetes compared to the general population. The study also found that the prevalence of hypertension was 9.7% at time of MS diagnosis. Hypertension was 6% higher in prevalence in people living with MS compared to general population, however, use of antihypertension medication was 56% lower than in the general population.
Impact: Despite the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension in people living with MS, they are less likely to receive treatment for these comorbidities compared to the general population. Comorbidities are associated with accelerated MS-related disability, increased healthcare utilization and greater mortality. Further research is needed to determine optimal approaches to manage these comorbidities in people living with MS to improve treatment and care guidelines.
Article published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal on March 1, 2023 - Management of vascular risk in people with multiple sclerosis at the time of diagnosis in England: A population-based study. Link to article – here.