Factors predicting one-year mortality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients--data from a population-based registry

BMC Neurol. 2014 Oct 4:14:197. doi: 10.1186/s12883-014-0197-9.


Background: Survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis varies considerably. About one third of the patients die within 12 months after first diagnosis. The early recognition of fast progression is essential for patients and neurologists to weigh up invasive therapeutic interventions. In a prospective, population-based cohort of ALS patients in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, we identified significant prognostic factors at time of diagnosis that allow prediction of early death within first 12 months.

Methods: Incident cases, diagnosed between October 2009 and September 2012 were enrolled and followed up at regular intervals of 3 to 6 months. Univariate analysis utilized the Log-Rank Test to identify association between candidate demographic and disease variables and one-year mortality. In a second step we investigated a multiple logistic regression model for the optimal prediction of one-year mortality rate.

Results: In the cohort of 176 ALS patients (mean age 66.2 years; follow-up 100%) one-year mortality rate from diagnosis was 34.1%. Multivariate analysis revealed that age over 75 years, interval between symptom onset and diagnosis below 7 months, decline of body weight before diagnosis exceeding 2 BMI units and Functional Rating Score below 31 points were independent factors predicting early death.

Conclusions: Probability of early death within 12 months from diagnosis is predicted by advanced age, short interval between symptom onset and first diagnosis, rapid decline of body weight before diagnosis and advanced functional impairment.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01955369, registered September 28, 2013).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / mortality*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01955369