Literature Review (Grey)
The objective of this study was to estimate whether the risk of death from COVID-19 in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) exceeds that of the general population. The authors conducted a pooled analysis of cohort studies on COVID-19 in patients with MS published until July 31, 2021. They calculated the pooled crude death rate (CDR) and estimated the indirectly-adjusted age-standardized lethality ratio (SLR) to assess the risk of death from COVID-19 in patients with MS as compared to general population. Out of 520 articles, 18 fulfilled criteria for pooled analysis, with a total of 5634 patients (28.6% males, mean age 41.8 years). Of them, 111 died, yielding a CDR of 1.97% (95% confidence intervals [CIs] 1.61-2.33). The estimated SLR was 1.24 (95% CIs 1.01-1.48) after indirect age-standardization using case-fatality rates obtained from the detailed surveillance data available at the World Health Organization (WHO) website. A leave-one-out sensitivity analysis and the analysis of temporal trends of SLR from March 2020 to July 2021 provided consistent findings. The authors concluded that pooled analysis suggests a 24%-increased risk of death from COVID-19 in patients with MS. These findings must be interpreted with caution, mainly because of the difficulties in COVID-19 case detection (especially in the first pandemic wave) and heterogeneity of the analyzed cohorts. Confirmation in larger population-based studies is warranted.
Prosperini L, Tortorella C, Haggiag S, Ruggieri S, Galgani S, Gasperini C. Increased risk of death from COVID-19 in multiple sclerosis: a pooled analysis of observational studies. J Neurol. 2021 Sep 17:1–7. doi: 10.1007/s00415-021-10803-3.