All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for December 2002

Multiple sclerosis and driving

Ugeskr Laeger 2002 Oct 28;164(44):5134-7
Lings S.
Arbejds- og miljomedicinsk klinik, Odense Universitetshospital, DK-5000 Odense C.


The influence of medical conditions on the ability to drive safely is a matter of concern to both physicians and society. Obviously, the symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS) are of relevance when driving a car. Nevertheless this problem has never before been subject to scientific investigations.


A 10-year historical cohort register study on 197 patients with MS and 545 controls individually matched for age, gender, place of residence, and period of exposure. Persons with other neurological diseases, diabetes, or abuse were excluded. The outcome measure was treatment at an emergency department after an accident as a car driver.


Five patients and four controls had been treated. The rate per 1,000 person-years with exposure was 3.4 times higher (CI 0.73-17.15) in the patients than in the control cohort. The difference is significant in a one-sided test (p = 0.04).


This study showed that drivers with MS were more often treated at a casualty department after having a road traffic accident than healthy controls. In view of the small numbers, the results should be interpreted cautiously, and no drastic measures should be taken regarding patients' driving until the results have been further substantiated.