Multiple sclerosis and COVID-19: how many are at risk?

Eur J Neurol. 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1111/ene.14555. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic challenges neurologists in counselling multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with respect to their risk for and by SARS-CoV-2 and in guiding disease-modifying treatment (DMT). The objective was to determine the frequency and distribution of currently known risk factors for COVID-19 mortality in a MS population.

METHODS: MS patients with at least one complete case report between January 1st , 2015 and December 31st , 2019 from the Innsbruck MS database (IMSD) were cross-sectionally included. Frequencies of currently estimated COVID-19 mortality risk factors were analyzed and the cumulative risk was calculated by a recently developed score. For every risk group, the proportions of patients under DMT and immunosuppressive treatment were determined.

RESULTS: Of 1931 MS patients, 63.4% had low risk of COVID-19 mortality, 26% had mild risk, 8.8% had a moderate risk, while a combined 0.9% had high or very high risk of COVID-19 mortality. Of the patients at high or very high risk, only one patient received DMT and none had an immunosuppressive therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: In a population-based MS cohort, the proportion of patients at high risk of COVID-19 mortality is below 1%. Importantly, the vast majority of these MS patients did not receive any DMT.

PMID:32978860 | DOI:10.1111/ene.14555