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COVID-19 in Multiple Sclerosis: clinically reported outcomes from the UK Multiple Sclerosis Register

Middleton, R. M., Craig, E. M., Rodgers, W .J., Tuite-Dalton, K., Garjani, A., Evangelou, N., das Nair, R., Hunter, R., Tallantyre, E. C., Cauchi, M., Cairn, C., Paling, D., Fuller, S., McDonnell, G., Petherham, K., Liu, B., Nock, U., Ingram, G., Brownlee, W., Taylor, J. and Nicholas, R. 2021. COVID-19 in Multiple Sclerosis: clinically reported outcomes from the UK Multiple Sclerosis Register. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 56 , 103317. 10.1016/j.msard.2021.103317

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Background In March 2020, the United Kingdom Multiple Sclerosis Register (UKMSR) established an electronic case return form, designed collaboratively by MS neurologists, to record data about COVID-19 infections in people with MS (pwMS). Objectives Examine how hospital admission and mortality are affected by disability, age and disease modifying treatments (DMTs) in people with Multiple Sclerosis with COVID-19. Methods Anonymised data were submitted by clinical teams. Regression models were tested for predictors of hospitalisation and mortality outcomes. Separate analyzes compared the first and second ‘waves’ of the pandemic. Results Univariable analysis found hospitalisation and mortality were associated with increasing age, male gender, comorbidities, severe disability, and progressive MS; severe disability showed the highest magnitude of association. Being on a DMT was associated with a small, lower risk. Multivariable analysis found only age and male gender were significant. Post hoc analysis demonstrated that factors were significant for hospitalisation but not mortality. In the second wave, hospitalisation and mortality were lower. Separate models of the first and second wave using age and gender found they had a more important role in the second wave. Conclusions Features associated with poor outcome in COVID-19 are similar to other populations and being on a DMT was not found to be associated with adverse outcomes, consistent with smaller studies. Once in hospital, no factors were predictive of mortality. Reassuringly, mortality appears lower in the second wave.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2211-0348
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 7 October 2021
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 06:09

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