Ann Mult Scler Res | Volume 1, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

The Effects of Body Mass Index (BMI) on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Progression

Aliza Bitton Ben-Zacharia*

Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Icahn School of Medicine, USA

*Correspondance to: Aliza Bitton Ben-Zacharia 

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Objective: To evaluate the association between Body Mass Index (BMI) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Progression as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) new lesions, relapse rate, and the Timed 25 Foot Walk (T25FW).
Methods: Subjects (n=150) were identified through age, gender, race, and disease duration and followed retrospectively for 5 years based on medical records. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between BMI and MS progression.
Results: The mean age was 45.5 years, 79% were females and the mean BMI was 27. The odds of having increased EDSS by at least 1 point in obese patients with mild disability was 8 times greater than those with normal BMI (p=0.017). The odds of having new brain MRI lesions was 6.2 times greater in overweight subjects (p<0.0001) and 2.6 times greater in obese subjects (p=0.048) than in subjects with normal BMI. The odds of having at least 1 relapse in 5 years was 3.8 times (p=0.040) in obese subjects than non obese. The odds of having 20% change on the T25FW was 1.1 (p=0.047). African Americans had 5 times greater odds to have higher disability (p=0.015) than Caucasians, and current smokers had 5 times greater odds to have increased disability than never Smokers (p=0.03). Conclusions: BMI has an important role in MS outcomes. Assessment and addressing a plan of care with dietary guidelines and weight control programs for patients with MS aid in minimizing the progression of the disease.


Ben-Zacharia AB. The Effects of Body Mass Index (BMI) on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Progression. Ann Mult Scler Res. 2018; 1(1): 1001.

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