Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic stem cell malignancies with significant morbidity and high mortality. The incidence of MDS increases markedly with age, and the disease is most prevalent in individuals who are white and male. It is conservatively estimated that >10,000 new cases of MDS occur in the United States annually, and that ≥ 60,000 individuals with MDS currently reside in the country. With an aging population and an improving awareness of the disease, the documented disease burden is expected to escalate in the near future. Recent studies have identified new or inconsistent etiologic factors that warrant further research. Given the poor survival of individuals with MDS, it is important to identify prognostic factors to better risk-stratify patients for more effective treatment. The relevance of different comorbidities to MDS prognosis and the potential interaction between various comorbidities represents an interesting area of research.
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