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Beta Interferon Tied to Lower Mortality in Relapsing-Onset MS

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 -- For patients with relapsing-onset multiple sclerosis, beta interferon treatment is associated with a lower mortality risk, according to a study published online March 18 in Brain.

Elaine Kingwell, Ph.D., from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues examined the correlation between beta interferon and mortality in a population-based observational study of patients with relapsing-onset multiple sclerosis registered at a clinic in British Columbia, Canada, or in Rennes, France. There were 742 deaths among 5,989 participants; 649 of these cases were matched to one to 20 controls by country, sex, age, year, and disability level at study entry.

The researchers found that compared with controls, cases had significantly lower odds of beta interferon exposure (odds ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.53 to 0.89). Increased survival was correlated with more than three years of beta interferon exposure (odds ratio, 0.44; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.3 to 0.66) but not with lower exposure (six months to three years: odds ratio, 1; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.38). The findings were similar within sex and country and for deaths related to multiple sclerosis.

"Further work is warranted to assess whether this survival advantage extends to other disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis and whether this observed survival advantage results in a measurable improvement in the quality of life lived," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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Posted: April 2019

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