Background:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory central nervous system demyelinating disorder resulting in neurologic decline. Patients predominantly have a relapsing and remitting disease course requiring multiple hospitalizations and, occasionally, rehospitalizations. Hospitalization readmission rates are important metrics that have direct financial implications for hospitals and serve as an indicator of disease burden on patients and society. We sought to analyze hospital readmissions of patients with MS and identify the subsequent predictive characteristics/comorbidities for readmission.

Methods:

All hospital admissions due to MS were queried using the 2017 Nationwide Readmissions Database. All patients with nonelective rehospitalization within 30 days of discharge were examined.

Results:

The 30-day readmission rate for MS is 10.6% (range, 10.4%–10.8%). Female sex has a protective role in readmission rates, and age has no effect. Comorbidities, including heart failure, acute kidney injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, respiratory failure, substance abuse, diabetes, hypertension, peripheral artery disease, liver failure, anemia, coagulation disorders, cancer, depression, and infections, are predictive of readmissions, whereas sleep apnea is protective. No effect is seen with neurologic blindness, plasma exchange, or intravenous immunoglobulin treatment.

Conclusions:

Several medical comorbidities are predictive of hospital readmission of patients with MS. Most rehospitalizations are due to infectious and neurologic etiologies; thus, targeted interventions may lead to lower readmission rates.

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Author notes

*AP and AA contributed equally to this work.