Other Health Problems Can Delay MS Progression

People who unknowingly suffer from MS might experience some delays in diagnosing the disease if they also suffer from other pre-existing conditions such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. This comes from a study that was recently published on the October, 2008 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

During the study, researchers evaluated the medical records of 8,983 people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Of the total, 2,375 were further labeled as having mild, moderate or severe disability with the two years since they were diagnosed with the disease. This group was also asked about their pre-existing conditions which include their smoking status and weight.

In the ensuing study, the researchers found out that those who were obese, smoked or suffered from other physical as well as mental health conditions took one to ten years longer to have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis compared to other participants without such conditions. The study also found out that the more pre-existing conditions a participant suffered from, the more severe the disease have progressed by the time it was diagnosed.

According to Ruth Ann Marie, MD, PhD, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and member of the American Academy of Neurology and the study’s author, "Our study suggests that doctors who treat people with chronic diseases should not attribute new neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling to existing conditions without careful consideration."

Dr. Marie further added, "People with vascular problems or who were obese were about one-and-a-half times more likely to be moderately disabled at the time of diagnosis compared with those who had MS but did not have any heart or weight problems. We also found people who had a mental disorder or any muscle or joint problem along with MS were nearly two times more likely to be severely disabled at the time of diagnosis."

Source: newswise.com/articles/view/545586/?sc=rsmn

 

 
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