Predictors of Catching COVID‑19 Infection during Pandemic Stage in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Mahsa Ghajarzadeh, Omid Mirmosayyeb, Negar Molazadeh, Mohammad Ali Sahraian, Simona Bonavita, Vahid Shaygannejad


Background: Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are considered at higher risk of COVID‑19 infection due to treatment with immune modulators and immune‑suppressive agents. The exact risk factors are not clear. So, we aimed to conduct a study to determine the predictors of catching COVID‑19 infection during the pandemic stage in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: We conducted a multicenter screening study and developed an online questionnaire to collect patients’ self‑reported demographic features along with MS‑related and COVID‑19–related information. The online questionnaire link was released by the Iran Multiple Sclerosis Society (IMSS) social media channel, accessible for 4160 MS patients totally and also was sent by WhatsApp for nonmember cases. Results: Totally, 1448 MS patients participated in our study. Twenty‑five (1.7%) patients were diagnosed with COVID‑19, from which 4 were hospitalized, 4 were treated with medical therapy, and 17 patients had home‑quarantine. The patients with COVID‑19 diagnosis were more frequently treated with rituximab (28% vs 24%, P = 0.001) than others, and cardiovascular comorbidity was more frequent in this group (8% vs 1.6%, P = 0.01). Regression analysis showed that cardiovascular disease was a significant positive predictor of COVID‑19 infection (OR = 5.2, 95% CI: 1.1–23.7). Conclusions: Patients with MS who have cardiovascular disease should be more monitored for COVID‑19 infection as they are at higher risk of infection.


COVID‑19; Iran, multiple sclerosis; predictor

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