MS may raise the risk of long Covid

Published 22 February 2022

A new study has found that almost a third of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who get Covid-19 have symptoms lasting for at least a month.

Researchers reviewed more than 550 cases of people infected with Covid-19 who have MS, none of whom needed hospitalisation.

They found the rate at which longer lasting symptoms occurred in people with MS compared with the general population was higher than in some previous studies. They said this suggested people with MS may have a greater risk of long Covid, also known as post-acute sequelae.

Greater disability, being female, and having poorer mental health were also found to be risk factors for long Covid.

Nearly a third of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with COVID-19 experience symptoms that last at least one month, according to a review of of more than 550 infected MS patients in the U.K. who did not need to be hospitalized.

This study’s rate is higher than that reported for the general population in some previous studies, the researchers noted, suggesting that people with MS can be at a greater risk of long-term COVID-19 symptoms, commonly known as post-acute sequelae or “long COVID.”

Higher levels of MS disability, poorer mental health, and female sex were found to be risk factors for long COVID. This is in keeping with other studies which have linked these factors to worse outcomes from Covid-19.

The researchers said the findings highlight how important it is that people with MS get vaccinated and that more research is needed to establish for definite whether MS increases the risk of long Covid.