The five most prevalent disorders occurring with MS were depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and chronic lung disease.
- Autoimmune disease: Based on population-based studies, the most prevalent autoimmune comorbidities were psoriasis (7.74%) and thyroid disease (6.44%). Researchers failed to detect an overall, non-specific increase in the risk of comorbid autoimmune disease with MS; however, they did find an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease, uveitis and possibly pemphigoid. Findings were inconsistent for other conditions such as type I diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Cancer: Cervical, breast, and digestive cancers had the highest incidence in population-based studies of MS. The risk of meningiomas and urinary system cancers appeared higher than expected, while the risks of pancreatic, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancer were lower than expected, when comparing the MS population to the general population.
- Cardiovascular disease: The prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) exceeded 10% in the MS population and increased with age. Although the rates of ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke were less than 5% overall, these conditions occurred more frequently than expected. Cardiac valvular disease, however, affected the MS population less often than expected.
- Gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, ocular, pulmonary, and renal disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome and chronic lung disease occur in more than 10% of the MS population. Each of these conditions along with arthritis, fibromyalgia, cataracts and glaucoma were more common than expected.
- Mental health: This review confirms that psychiatric comorbidity is common in people living with MS, particularly depression and anxiety, each of which affect more than 22% of the MS population. Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder occur more often in the MS population than the general population.
- Sleep and seizure disorders: Researchers found that seizures disorders occur more often in the MS population with incidence and prevalence rates of 2.28% and 3.09%, respectively. The most studied sleep disorder, restless legs syndrome, occurs in up to 57.5% of the MS population, while obstructive sleep apnea affects 7-58%. Narcolepsy was much less prevalent occurring in 0-1.6% of the MS population based on one study.
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Do You Have an MS Comorbidity?