Pubertal onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) may be associated with increased relapses in boys, a recent study found. Patients from the UCSF Regional Pediatric MS Center were included in this retrospective study. Age of disease onset was used to stratify patients into 3 groups approximating pubertal stage: age <11 years, between 11-14 years, and >14 years, corresponding to pre-, peri-, and post-puberty, respectively. Researchers found:
- 58 male pediatric patients with onset of relapsing-remitting MS before 18 years of age participated in the analyses (<11 onset, n=21; 11-14 onset, n=21; >14 onset, n=16).
- 60% of patients identified as white, and 43% as Hispanic.
- Median follow-up was 3.17 years (IQR 1.42-5.35).
- Univariate negative binomial regression models demonstrated a 2.4-fold increased relapse rate for boys with disease onset in the peri-puberty age group compared to the post-puberty age group (IRR = 2.43).
- Adjustments for race, ethnicity, and use of disease-modifying therapy did not change these results (IRR = 2.39).
- No differences in relapse rate between the pre-pubertal onset group and post-pubertal onset group were found.
Young B, Waubant E, Lulu S, Graves J. Puberty onset and pediatric multiple sclerosis activity in boys. [Published online ahead of print October 22, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.10.014.
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