COVID-19 Severity in Multiple Sclerosis: Putting Data Into Context

Massimiliano Mirabella, Maria Pia Sormani, Irene Schiavetti, Luca Carmisciano, Cinzia Cordioli, Massimo Filippi, Marta Radaelli, Paolo Immovilli, Marco Capobianco, Nicola De Rossi, Giampaolo Brichetto, Eleonora Cocco, Cinzia Scandellari, Paola Cavalla, Ilaria Pesci, Antonio Zito, Paolo Confalonieri, Girolama Alessandra Marfia, Paola Perini, Matilde IngleseMaria Trojano, Vincenzo Brescia Morra, Gioacchino Tedeschi, Giancarlo Comi, Mario Alberto Battaglia, Francesco Patti, Marco Salvetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: It is unclear how multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the severity of COVID-19. The aim of this study is to compare COVID-19-related outcomes collected in an Italian cohort of patients with MS with the outcomes expected in the age- and sex-matched Italian population. METHODS: Hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and death after COVID-19 diagnosis of 1,362 patients with MS were compared with the age- and sex-matched Italian population in a retrospective observational case-cohort study with population-based control. The observed vs the expected events were compared in the whole MS cohort and in different subgroups (higher risk: Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score > 3 or at least 1 comorbidity, lower risk: EDSS score ≤ 3 and no comorbidities) by the χ2 test, and the risk excess was quantified by risk ratios (RRs). RESULTS: The risk of severe events was about twice the risk in the age- and sex-matched Italian population: RR = 2.12 for hospitalization (p < 0.001), RR = 2.19 for ICU admission (p < 0.001), and RR = 2.43 for death (p < 0.001). The excess of risk was confined to the higher-risk group (n = 553). In lower-risk patients (n = 809), the rate of events was close to that of the Italian age- and sex-matched population (RR = 1.12 for hospitalization, RR = 1.52 for ICU admission, and RR = 1.19 for death). In the lower-risk group, an increased hospitalization risk was detected in patients on anti-CD20 (RR = 3.03, p = 0.005), whereas a decrease was detected in patients on interferon (0 observed vs 4 expected events, p = 0.04). DISCUSSION: Overall, the MS cohort had a risk of severe events that is twice the risk than the age- and sex-matched Italian population. This excess of risk is mainly explained by the EDSS score and comorbidities, whereas a residual increase of hospitalization risk was observed in patients on anti-CD20 therapies and a decrease in people on interferon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1105-N/A
JournalNEUROLOGY® NEUROIMMUNOLOGY &amp; NEUROINFLAMMATION
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • COVID-19

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