Cause of death in patients attending multiple sclerosis clinics.
Sadovnick AD., Eisen K., Ebers GC., Paty DW.
Between 1972 and 1988, 145 deaths occurred among 3,126 patients attending the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinics in Vancouver, British Columbia (N = 1,583), and London, Ontario (N = 1,543). We could determine the exact cause of death in 82.1% of cases (119 of 145). Of the 119 patients for whom the cause of death was known, 56 deaths (47.1%) were directly attributed to complications of MS. Of the remaining 63 deaths, 18 (28.6%) were suicides, 19 (30.2%) were due to malignancy, 13 (20.6%) to an acute myocardial infarction, seven (11.1%) to stroke, and the remainder (9.5%) to miscellaneous causes, of which two may have been suicides. The proportion of suicides among MS deaths was 7.5 times that for the age-matched general population, and the proportion of MS deaths from malignancy was 0.67 times that for the age-matched general population. The proportion of deaths due to malignancy and stroke was the same for the MS patients and the age-matched general population.