1 August 2002
Multiple Sclerosis, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 350-355(6)
Sumelahti M-L; Tienari PJ; Wikström J; Salminen TM; Hakama M
 School of Public Health, P.O. Box 607, University of Tampere, FIN-33014 Tampere, Finland  Department of Neurology, Haartmaninkatu 8, University of Helsinki, FIN-02900 Helsinki, Finland
The long-term survival of multiple sclerosis (MS) was studied during 1964-1993 in a cohort of 1614 patients in Finland.
Survival to death from the initial MS symptoms was analysed by the life-table method, separately for MS related and all causes of deaths.
Survival at 40 years was 64% for MS deaths and 53% for all deaths.
Higher proportions of violent deaths and neoplasms were observed among MS patients as compared to the general population, whereas the proportion of cardiovascular causes of death was low.
MS-related causes accounted for 70% of the recorded 219 deaths.
Favourable survival in MS was associated with relapsing-remitting disease course, age at onset below 30 years and optic neuritis or other sensory symptoms at presentation.
We were unable to show any significant effect due to calendar time of diagnosis or gender, as the risk of men was similar (risk ratio [RR]=1.1, confidence interval [CI] 0.8-1.6) as compared to women.
© 2002 ingenta