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Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis: A Cross-Sectional Web-Based Survey Analysis

Newland, Pamela; Jensen, Mark P.; Budhathoki, Chakra; Lorenz, Rebecca

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: June 2015 - Volume 47 - Issue 3 - p 124–130
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000130

ABSTRACT Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the rates of secondary health conditions in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) with age-matched U.S. general population norms. Method: This was a cross-sectional study in which data were collected using a Web-based survey from members of the greater Midwest MS society chapter. Questions were modeled from the National Health Interview Survey to assess the presence of six health conditions. Self-reported health conditions among the sample were compared to U.S. general population norms from the National Health Interview Survey. Results: Individuals with MS reported higher rates of depression, arthritis, diabetes, coronary artery disease, migraine headaches, and cancer than the normative population. Although the rates of health conditions increased with age in the normative sample, the MS sample showed a curvilinear (bimodal) pattern as a function of age for some secondary health conditions.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Pamela Newland, RN PhD CMSRN, at She is an Assistant Professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College, St. Louis, MO.

Mark P. Jensen, PhD, is a Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Chakra Budhathoki, PhD, is an Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD.

Rebecca Lorenz, RN PhD, is an Associate Professor, Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St. Louis, MO.

Financial disclosure: The contents of this article were developed, in part, under a grant from the Department of Education, NIDRR Grant number H133B080024. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. No funds were received from this grant by the primary author.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2015 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses