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Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder is an autoimmune disease, causing severe disability due to relapses, but recent mortality data are limited. Among 396 patients seropositive for anti-aquaporin-4 antibody from 2014 to 2020 in the United Kingdom, 39 deaths occurred: 19 (48.7%) were unrelated to disease; 14 (35.9%) were severe disability- or relapse-related; and 4 (10.3%) were attributed to malignancy/infection. Mean annual mortality was 1.92% versus 0.63% in the matched population. The standardized mortality ratio was 3.04 (95% confidence interval 1.67-5.30) with 1.29% excess mortality per year in patients. Median Expanded Disability Status Scale before death was 7.0. Results highlight the importance of preventing relapses that drive disability.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Clin Transl Neurol

Publication Date