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Self-reported levels of education and disability progression in MS



























Image Source: CLIPARTPANDA


Abstract

Objectives:
The purpose of our study is to investigate whether socioeconomic indicators such as education, financial concerns, employment, and living status are associated with disease progression in relapsing-onset and progressive-onset Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Materials and methods:
We performed a cross-sectional survey among individuals with MS, registered by the Flemish MS society and included socioeconomic indicators. A Cox proportional hazard regression was performed with the time from MS onset and from birth to reach an ambulatory disability milestone corresponding to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 6 (requiring a cane) as outcome measure, adjusted for gender, age at MS onset, and immunomodulatory treatment.

Results:
Among the participants with relapsing-onset MS, subjects reporting education for more than 12 years had a reduced risk of reaching EDSS 6 compared to subjects reporting education for less than 12 years [HR from onset 0.68 (95% CI 0.49–0.95); HR from birth 0.71 (95% CI 0.51–0.99)]. In progressive-onset MS, longer education was associated with an increased hazard to reach EDSS 6 [HR from onset 1.25 (95% CI 0.91–1.70); HR from birth 1.39 (95% CI 1.02–1.90)].

Conclusions:
Our study shows an association of self-reported levels of education with disability progression in MS, with the highest level being protective in relapsing-onset MS.

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