CMSC 2012: Ischemic Heart Disease and Myocardial Infarction Occur Less Frequently in Hospital Discharges with Multiple Sclerosis

People discharged from the hospital with MS are 30% less likely to have had a myocardial infarction and 58% less likely to have ischemic heart disease.

SAN DIEGO — People discharged from the hospital with multiple sclerosis (MS) are 30% less likely to have had a myocardial infarction (MI) and 58% less likely to have ischemic heart disease (IHD), according to research presented at the Fourth Cooperative Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and America’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS).

Although it is known that perivascular inflammation is an early event in the process of plaque formation in MS, the information on vascular risk factors in MS is limited. Patient age may play a role in the prevalence of vascular disease in this population.

Nabeel Herial, MD, of the University of Toronto Medical Center in Toledo, OH, and colleagues conducted a study using data from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to evaluate the prevalence of IHD, MI, ischemic stroke (IS), and hemorrhagic stroke (HS) in 6,611,263 hospital discharges involving cases who had a secondary MS discharge diagnosis of MS and control patients who had no MS diagnosis from more than 1,000 hospitals in 38 states.

Of the total discharges, 0.32% (20.843) had a secondary diagnosis of MS. Average MS case patient age was 57.3 years, 73% were female, and 81% were Caucasian. Control patients were 60% female and 69% Caucasian.

Ischemic stroke (1.5 vs. 1.9%) and hemorrhagic stroke (0.3 vs. 0.37%) did not differ between MS and control patients. However, the rate of ischemic heart disease (1.6 vs 3.7%) and myocardial infarction (1.3 vs 2.1%) were lower for MS patients than for those with no MS. Overall, MS patients were 30% less likely to have MI and 58% less likely to have IHD.

“IHD and MI occur less frequently in MS discharges compared to controls. This analysis represents a large, uniform sample across the United States hospital discharges for the year 2006. Similar results were found when data for 2007 were queried,” the authors concluded.