Disability and mortality in a cohort of multiple sclerosis patients: a reappraisal

Neuroepidemiology. 2005;25(1):15-8. doi: 10.1159/000085308. Epub 2005 Apr 25.


The aim of the study was to evaluate how the natural history of multiple sclerosis (MS) had changed over a 15-year period. We compared disability and mortality in a cohort of 83 MS patients hospitalised in the Neurological Institute of Pavia, northern Italy, from January 1, 1990, to December 31, 1991, with a similar cohort of 52 patients analysed in the past. After the follow-up, an unfavourable course (death or relevant disability) was observed in 41% of the patients in the new cohort, compared to 63.5% of the patients in the old one. The percentage of deceased patients was reduced from 25 to 6%. The analysis of the pooled data of the two cohorts indicates a recent tendency of firstly hospitalised patients having a shorter disease duration and a lower disability level, which could explain the relevant decrease both in mortality and disability. Finally, our findings confirmed that age at onset, early disability and a short interval between onset and secondary progression increase the risk of an unfavourable course.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors