Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Prevalence of Asthma in Persons with MS

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub 2018 Dec 11; Hill, et al

Asthma is significantly more common in those with multiple sclerosis (MS) than in the general population, particularly in the young and elderly, irrespective of gender and race, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a US population-based, cross-sectional study of electronic health record information for 56.6 million Americans. They evaluated the prevalence of asthma in MS (n=141,880) and non-MS (n=56,416,790) cohorts, stratifying by age, gender, and race (all, white Americans, and African Americans). They found:

  • The prevalence of asthma was significantly greater among those with MS than the general population across age, gender, and racial subpopulations.
  • Adjusting for age and gender, asthma was 3 times more common in MS.
  • In the MS cohort, the prevalence of asthma had a U-shaped distribution with respect to age, with the greatest asthma prevalence among the young and the elderly (>20% prevalence among those aged <30 or ≥80 years; prevalence range: 15 to 30%); this significantly differed from the fairly uniform distribution observed in the non-MS cohort (prevalence range: 4 to 9%).


Hill E, Abboud H, Briggs FBS. Prevalence of asthma in multiple sclerosis: A United States population-based study. [Published online ahead of print December 11, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.12.012.

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