Background and objectives: A few studies have found that low scores on self-rated health and quality of life measures are associated with following worsening disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). We wanted to estimate the association between self-rated quality of life scores among patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and the risk of subsequent conversion to definite MS. Methods: One hundred sixty-two patients from the GERONIMUS cohort with a symptom or sign suggestive of MS and without a definite diagnosis of MS at the time of inclusion were asked to evaluate their health-related quality of life according to MSQoL-54 scale. They were clinically assessed and mood and depression scales were applied. The association between the scores of these scales and the risk of converting to definite MS during a 5-year follow-up was estimated using the Cox- proportional hazard regression model. Results: Quality of life at examination was significantly lower compared to those of an age- and sex-adjusted general Italian population. During the follow-up, 116 patients (72%) converted to definite MS. No significant predictive effects were found for the summary scales of MSQol-54 or other scales. The estimates did not change after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, education, MRI findings, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and treatment at time of examination. Conclusion: Persons with CIS in this cohort reported reduced self-rated quality of life compared to the general population, but variation in these scores was not associated with subsequent conversion from CIS to clinical definite MS.
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