Characterization of annual disease progression of multiple sclerosis patients: A population-based study

Jonatan Freilich, Ali Manouchehrinia, Mark Trusheim, Lynn G. Baird, Sophie Desbiens, Ernst Berndt, Jan Hillert*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Previous research characterizing factors influencing multiple sclerosis (MS) disease progression has typically been based on time to disease milestones (Kaplan-Meier, Cox hazard regression, etc.). A limitation of these methods is the handling of the often large groups of patients not reaching the milestone. To characterize clinical factors influencing MS disease progression as annual transitions from each Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). The annual progression of 11,964 patients from the Swedish MS Registry was analysed with 10 multinomial logistic regressions, that is, one for transition from each full EDSS with explanatory variables age, sex, age at onset, time in current EDSS, highest prior EDSS, MS course and treatment. All factors (except sex) investigated had statistically significant impacts on transitions from at least one EDSS. However, significance and size of the effect are dependent on the EDSS state of the patient. Greater age, longer time in a state, highest prior EDSS, having progressive MS and treatment had significant impacts, whereas age at onset had minor impact. Our study confirms that established factors associated with MS disease worsening in time to disease milestones also have impacts on annual progression. This approach adds granularity to what EDSS these factors have an influence.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMultiple Sclerosis
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)786-794
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • EDSS score
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • clinical disease progression
    • multinomial logistic regression


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