Multiple sclerosis is not associated with an increased risk for severe COVID-19


Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has risen, several risk factors have been identified, predicting a worse outcome. It has been speculated that patients with Multiple sclerosis (MS) have an increased risk for a severe course of COVID-19 due to a suspected higher vulnerability. Therefore, in this new study the authors aimed to analyze the impact of comorbid MS on the outcome of patients with COVID-19 in Germany.

The investigators conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study using the administrative database of all hospitalized patients diagnosed with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 (n = 157,524) in Germany during 2020. The cohort was stratified according to the presence (n = 551) or absence (n = 156,973) of comorbid MS, including discrimination of MS subtypes. Primary outcome measures were admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), use of invasive or non-invasive ventilation, and in-hospital mortality. Differences were investigated using rates and odds ratios as estimates. Pooled overall estimates, sex-stratified estimates, age-group stratified estimates, and MS subtype stratified estimates were calculated for all outcomes under the random-effects model.

The authors concluded that, although there might be differences in risk within the MS patients' population, this large-scale nationwide analysis found no evidence for a worse outcome of COVID-19 in patients with comorbid MS compared to non-MS individuals.