Background: We examined the prevalence of cardiac and cerebrovascular disease among hospitalized patients with and without multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: This study used the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperate System data set of over 15 million hospitalizations in New York City from 1988 through 2002. We identified MS patients 40–84 years of age who were hospitalized for reasons other than MS or related complications. MS patients were matched 1:2 on age, gender, race/ethnicity, and insurance. Outcomes included a principal discharge diagnosis of ischemic heart disease [International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) 410–414], myocardial infarction (ICD-9 410), and ischemic stroke (ICD-9 434, 436). Multivariate logistic regression was used to compare vascular disease outcomes in MS and non-MS patients controlling for demographic and clinical factors. Results: Our studyincluded 9,949 hospitalizations among MS patients and 19,898 hospitalizations for matched non-MS controls. MS patients were less likely to be hospitalized for ischemic heart disease (OR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.51–0.66) or myocardial infarction (OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.64–0.96), but more likely to be hospitalized for ischemic stroke (OR = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.33–2.09) than matched non-MS controls. Conclusion: MS patients have decreased rates of hospital admission for ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction, but increased rates of hospitalization for ischemic stroke as compared to the general non-MS population.
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