People with MS plus depression may be at higher risk of early death. A new study revealed that having both MS and depression is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality.
The study also added that people with both conditions have an increased risk of developing a vascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.
The study findings are published on September 1, 2021, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The research involved 12,251 people with MS and 72,572 people without MS. The researchers investigated those who developed vascular disease or died over a period of 10 years. At the start of the study, depression affected 21% of the people with MS and depression affected 9% of the people without MS.
The researchers found that the mortality rate for people with both conditions was 10.3. People with MS without depression had a mortality rate 10.6 and for people who had depression without MS it was 3.6. The mortality rate for people with neither condition the mortality rate was 2.5.
The early death risk was nearly four times more among people with MS than people with neither condition and the early death risk was nearly twice among people with depression without MS.
"When we looked at the risk of death, we found that the joint effect of MS plus depression equaled more than the effect for each individual factor alone -- in other words, the two conditions had a synergistic effect," study author Raffaele Palladino said. "A total of 14% of the effect on mortality rate could be attributed to the interaction between these two conditions."