Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Disease Management and Gender in MS

Today we will discuss possible differences men and women may have in health-related quality of life, symptom management, treatment management, and even personality.

Compliance and Disease Management
A recent study published in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP) sought to evaluate gender differences in self-reported clinical characteristics, symptom awareness, and perceived ability to manage therapy among MS patients taking a disease-modifying drug.  How do we respond differently to our MS?

Of 4700 patients surveyed, only 44.1% responded.  Of those 2022 patients, 80.6% were female, 82.3% were relapsing-remitting, and 83.1% were taking Avonex (33.4%), Rebif (15.9%), or Copaxone (33.8%).  Curious that Betaseron, Tysabri, or Novantrone were not called out as well, only referred to as the 16.9% who were not using one of the drugs mentioned above. 

The flip side of the 2022 patients who responded is that 19.4% were male (4:1 ratio, women to men) and 17.7% were progressive.  Comparatively, the men were typically older and a great proportion of them had more progressive MS.  This reinforces what we discussed in MS in Men vs. Women: Does Gender Matter?

Read this post in its entirety:

MS in Men and Women: Disability, Compliance, Personality, and Mental Health


  1. I can't draw any conclusions from this. It has already been documented that the older one is when DX, the worse the MS can be. What were te % of those who did not return survey, men/women? It is already documented that more females than males get MS. It is already documented that MS remisses during pregnancy. (I think I get why they left out the "next step" drugs, but I will hold my too often repeated observation) I draw nothing new from this survey.

  2. It would be interesting to know the make-up of the persons who did NOT return the survey. Would knowing that reveal anything about the persons who did return the survey?

    I included this study/survey just so that I could show who sponsored it and why this information is important for disease management organizations. So that they can design educational, compliance, and support services tailored to different types of patients (ie. gender).

    Unlike educational material designed to encourage heart disease patients to take their medication as prescribed, I don't see that lack of compliance with the MS drugs carries as much potential consequences. It then becomes fodder for marketing and 'patient support.' But if patients get something extra out of it in the end, then that's good.

    I had hoped to spark some discussion on this one. :)

  3. It's always interesting to examine gender and disease. Often, men with RA and MS get discounted because there are less of them. Maybe there are somethings that spark these autoimmune diseases to life from their dormant existence and women are just more exposed to these items.

    I'm amazed at your ability to handle both of these diseases! I hope that things are going well for you.

    Also, I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award: http://notstandingstillsdisease.blogspot.com/2010/07/one-lovely-blog.html