HCV tied to lower risk for multiple sclerosis

  • Söderholm J & al.
  • J Neurol
  • 31 May 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • HCV infection is tied to a 63% lower risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), according to data from a large population study.

Why this matters

  • MS etiology is unknown, but increased risk has been demonstrated after infection with the Epstein-Barr virus; in contrast, risk is decreased among people living with HIV.

Study design

  • Study of 42,522 patients with HCV, matched by age, sex, and location with up to 5 non-HCV individuals (n=202,694), all identified through nationwide Swedish inpatient and outpatient care registers from 2001 to 2013.
  • Mean observation time in the HCV and comparator cohorts was 6.59 and 7.42 years, respectively.
  • Funding: AbbVie.

Key results

  • MS incidence was 0.087% (n=37) in the HCV cohort vs 0.27% (n=544) in the comparator cohort.
  • HCV patients had a lower risk for MS diagnosis (standardized incidence ratio [SIR], 0.37; 95% CI, 0.26-0.50).
  • MS rates were lower in the HCV vs comparator cohort for both men (0.075% vs 0.18%) and women (0.11% vs 0.43%).
  • MS risk was lower in both HCV-infected men (SIR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.30-0.73) and women (SIR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.16-0.47).
  • MS risk remained lower in 4 sensitivity analyses that improved diagnostic stringency.

Limitations

  • No data on treatment, MS risk factors in the HCV cohort.