Infections are an important cause of hospitalization in patients with MS. Data on outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with MS are limited
To quantify the risks of infection, hospitalization, admission to intensive care and death due to SARS-CoV-2 infection among patients with MS relative to the general population, and to identify factors associated with risk of hospitalization
A regional registry was created to collect data on incidence, hospitalization rates, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and death in patients with MS and COVID-19. National government outcomes and seroprevalence data were used for comparison.
Two-hundred nineteen patients with MS were included in the registry, 51 of whom were hospitalized. The infection incidence rate (IR) was lower in patients with MS than the general population (adjusted IR ratio 0.78; 95% confidence interval: 0.70–0.80), but hospitalization rates were higher (adjusted relative risk 6.52 [6.13–7.04]). Disease severity was generally low, with only one ICU admission and five deaths. Males with MS had higher incidence rates and risk of hospitalization than females. No association was found between the use of any disease-modifying therapy (DMT) and hospitalization risk.
Patients with MS do not appear to have greater risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection or severe COVID-19 outcomes compared with the general population. The decision to start or continue DMT should be based on a careful risk-benefit assessment.