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Multiple sclerosis tied to sexual dysfunction in women

31 Dec 2018

Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at an elevated risk of sexual dysfunction, reports a recent meta-analysis.

After applying the selection criteria, nine studies were eligible for inclusion. The resulting overall sample size was 1,458 women (mean age range 29.15–45.89 years), of whom 826 were MS patients, with mean disease durations ranging from 2.7–16.51 years.

Five studies provided the number of patients with MS and the number of controls. A pooled analysis revealed that the risk of female sexual dysfunction was almost twice that in MS patients than in controls (relative risk, 1.87; 95 percent CI, 1.25–2.78; p=0.002).

In comparison, the four remaining studies reported scores in the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). A meta-analysis showed significantly lower scores in women with MS (standardized mean difference [SMD], –2.41; –3.87 to –0.96; p=0.017).

Because heterogeneity was significant in both analyses (p<0.001 and p=0.001, respectively), researchers performed a subgroup analysis based on age. They found that the risk of sexual dysfunction was higher in women with MS at least 40 years of age (RR, 1.94; 1.23–3.05; p=0.004) but not younger (RR, 1.64; 0.91–2.95; p=0.1).

Similar trends were obtained regarding FSFI, with scores being lower in MS patients aged ≥40 years (SMD, –2.95; –3.58 to –2.32) than in those <40 years (SMD, –2.23; –3.86 to –0.59).

Another subgroup analysis according to disease duration showed a higher risk of sexual dysfunction in those with MS duration <10 years (RR, 2.45; 1.1–5.37; p=0.028; >10 years: RR, 2.51; 0.56–11.19; p=0.228), but FSFI scores were worse in women with longer disease duration (>10 years: SMD, –5.43; –6.48 to –4.37; p<0.001; <10 years: SMD, –1.49; –2.61 to –0.36; p=0.009).

The findings of the present study indicate that there is a need for better-quality studies with stringent controls and larger samples, said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

Individuals with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis may reap better long-term improvements in the severity of their condition when treated with guselkumab over secukinumab, according to findings of the phase III ECLIPSE* trial presented at the recent Inflammatory Skin Disease Summit (ISDS 2018) held in Vienna, Austria.

Jairia Dela Cruz, 11 Jan 2019
Use of standard-dose aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to confer protection against the risk of endometrial cancer in overweight and obese women, according to a meta-analysis.
4 days ago
Discontinuing the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia appears to be feasible in real-life clinical practice in the context of close molecular monitoring, a study reports.
5 days ago
There appears to be no clear link between pornography use, even at problematic levels, and erectile dysfunction, a recent US study has shown.