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Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis Tied to Lasting Social Consequences

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2021 -- Pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (PoMS) is associated with less educational achievement, lower earnings, and greater use of disability benefits throughout the working-age life span, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in JAMA Neurology.

Kyla A. McKay, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the associations between PoMS and educational level and income throughout adulthood. Nationwide microdata from linked Swedish registers was used to identify 485 patients with PoMS diagnosed from 1980 to 2014 and 4,850 age- and sex-matched controls without MS.

The researchers found that individuals with PoMS were less likely than matched controls to attend university (odds ratio, 0.80) and had significantly lower annual earnings than the reference cohort (−$1,618 in the youngest age period to −$10,683 in the oldest). Higher rates of disability benefits, as recorded by sickness absence days in the youngest age period (rate ratio, 3.06) and disability pension days in the oldest age period (rate ratio, 1.43), were seen among people with PoMS.

"This study suggests that PoMS may have lasting consequences that translate into lower educational achievements and earnings and a greater use of disability benefits in adulthood," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

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