Multiple sclerosis

Is multiple sclerosis a risk factor for myocardial infarction?

Traditional risk factors may not explain increased incidence of myocardial infarction in MS

Marrie RA, Garland A, Schaffer SA, et al

Neurology 2019; 92:e1624-e1633.



To compare the risk of incident acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the multiple sclerosis (MS) population and a matched population without MS, controlling for traditional vascular risk factors.


We conducted a retrospective matched cohort study using population-based administrative (health claims) data in 2 Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Manitoba. We identified incident MS cases using a validated case definition. For each case, we identified up to 5 controls without MS matched on age, sex, and region. We compared the incidence of AMI between cohorts using incidence rate ratios (IRR). We used Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the hazard of AMI between cohorts adjusting for sociodemographic factors, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. We pooled the provincial findings using meta-analysis.


We identified 14,565 persons with MS and 72,825 matched controls. The crude incidence of AMI per 100,000 population was 146.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 129.0-163.5) in the MS population and 128.8 (95% CI 121.8-135.8) in the matched population. After age standardization, the incidence of AMI was higher in the MS population than in the matched population (IRR 1.18; 95% CI 1.03-1.36). After adjustment, the hazard of AMI was 60% higher in the MS population than in the matched population (hazard ratio 1.63; 95% CI 1.43-1.87).


The risk of acute myocardial infarction is elevated in multiple sclerosis, and this risk may not be accounted for by traditional vascular risk factors.

This paper is cited in the neurochecklist:

Multiple sclerosis (MS): unusual presentations

Abstract link

By AndrewmeyersonOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

By Ibrahim Imam

I am a UK Neurologist keen on general neurology, but with an interest in neuromuscular diseases. I maintain the neurology searchable database, I also blog at I share and discuss current issues around clinical neurology. I hope you find my blogs enlightening, practical, and even entertaining.

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