The risk of myocardial infarction is increased in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), according to a new study published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal. The risk seems to be the same between the 2 conditions.

To determine the risk of myocardial infarction in this patient group, a team of researchers from South Korea led by Ju-Hong Min, MD, of the Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul analyzed the Korean National Health Insurance Service database between January 2010 and December 2017.

In the database, they identified 503 patients with MS and 1675 patients with NMOSD who did not experience ischemic heart disease or ischemic stroke during this period of time. They also selected matched controls in terms of age, sex, and the presence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia.


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The researchers calculated that the risk of developing myocardial infarction was 2.61 times higher in patients with MS and 1.95 times higher in patients with NMOSD compared to those without the diseases.

The risk of myocardial infarction in patients with NMOSD was similar to that of patients with MS. For patients with either disease, the risk of myocardial infarction did not differ significantly with age, sex, or the presence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia.

MS and NMOSD are both autoimmune diseases in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells and tissues. The 2 conditions share common features but are 2 distinct conditions. In MS, the function of regulatory T cells is altered while NMOSD is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies against the astrocyte aquaporin-4 water channel in most cases.

The link between MS or NMOSD and cardiovascular diseases is still unclear.

Reference

Cho EB, Yeo Y, Jung JH, et al. Acute myocardial infarction risk in multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: a nationwide cohort study in South Korea. Mult Scler. Published online June 13, 2022. doi:10.1177/13524585221096964