Objectives: To describe demographic, clinical characteristics, and resource use of MS patients.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study using the HealthCore Integrated Research Database (HIRDSM) identified newly diagnosed MS patients (no MS diagnosis (ICD-9-CM 340.xx) or use of disease modifying therapies (DMTs) 12 months prior to “first” diagnosis). Individuals were > 18 years old and identified between 1/1/2006 and 4/30/2012. The study characterized patients based on demographics, clinical characteristics and use of DMTs and other MS-related medications. Demographic characteristics included age and gender. Clinical characteristics included pre-index Deyo-Charlson Comorbidity Index (DCI) and comorbidities. Use of DMTs and all-cause healthcare resource utilization were measured in the entire post-index period, while other MS-related medications were measured in the 12 month pre- and entire post-index periods.
Results: 4,567 MS patients were identified. Patients had a mean age of 47 years, and 74.1% were female. Some patients had presence of clinically isolated syndrome (16.0%) in the pre-index period. The mean DCI score was 0.70, and the most prevalent pre-index comorbidities were high blood pressure (28.2%), depression (15.8%) and urinary tract infection (13.7%). Additionally, the most prevalent pre-index medications included antibiotics (53.3%), narcotics (35.1%) and corticosteroids (30.5%). During the post-index period, 40.8% of MS patients had ≥1 prescription for DMTs, while use of antibiotics, narcotics, and corticosteroids increased to 73.4%, 55.4%, and 59.6%, respectively. Overall, 39.7%, 42.7%, 99.7%, and 99.5% had all-cause inpatient, emergency room, office visits and other outpatient services, respectively in the post-index period.
Conclusions: Over half of MS patients were not treated with DMTs after diagnosis of MS, while use of other MS-related medications such as antibiotics, narcotics, and corticosteroids increased from pre-index to post-index periods.