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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013, Article ID 436929, 7 pages
Research Article

Hospitalization Rates and Discharge Status in Multiple Sclerosis

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Division of Gastroenterology, 200 Lothrop Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Received 5 March 2013; Revised 15 April 2013; Accepted 22 April 2013

Academic Editor: Bianca Weinstock-Guttman

Copyright © 2013 Sanober Nusrat et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Management of multiple sclerosis (MS) has shifted from supportive to disease modifying therapy. Considering the increasingly widespread adoption of this approach in managing MS patients, we hypothesized that hospitalizations and surrogates of disease-related complications should have declined during the last decade. Methods. Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, hospitalizations for MS and associated secondary diagnoses and procedures as well as discharge status were examined. Time trends were examined for different age cohorts focusing on the period from 2001 to 2010. Results. During the preceding decade, annual hospitalizations for MS increased by 40%, with stable rates in all age groups except geriatric patients, who accounted for a significantly higher fraction of admissions. Nursing home transfers as a surrogate marker of disability remained unchanged for all age groups. Similarly, urinary tract infections, the need for skin debridement, or gastrostomy tube placement did not vary during the decade. Conclusion. During a time of increased adoption of disease modifying therapy, MS-related hospitalizations continued to increase and surrogate measures of disability in admitted patients remained stable, demonstrating the still significant impact of the disease on affected individuals.