The Influence of Menopause in Multiple Sclerosis Course: A Longitudinal Cohort Study

Filipa Ladeira, Manuel Salavisa, André Caetano, Raquel Barbosa, Francisca Sá, Ana Sofia Correia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hormonal variations are known to influence the course of multiple sclerosis (MS). Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the impact of menopause in MS course, including disease activity and disability progression. Methods: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal cohort study including all women, older than 44, post-menopausal, with a diagnosis of MS at least 1 year before menopause. We evaluated the impact of menopause in MS course comparing clinical and radiologic outcomes within 5 years before and after menopause. We repeated the analysis in subgroups of patients without disease-modifying treatment (DMT) change or co-morbidities diagnosed during the observation period, considering that those factors might also impact MS outcomes. Results: Thirty-seven women, with a mean age at the time of menopause of 49.8 (±4.06) years were included in the analysis. Within 5 years following menopause, we observed a decrease in the annualized relapse rate (0.37 ± 0.35 pre-menopause vs. 0.08 ± 0.18 post-menopause, p < 0.001) compared with the same period before menopause, while the EDSS progression rate remained stable (0.13 ± 0.24 EDSS point/year pre-menopausal vs. 0.13 ± 0.18 post-menopause, p = 0.935). EDSS progression events frequency was similar before and after the menopause (37.8 vs. 48.6%, respectively, p = 0.424). These observations persisted in patients' subgroups without DMT switch or co-morbidities. Conclusions: Following menopause, we observed a reduction in the relapse rate, but the disability progression continued at a similar rate, compared to the pre-menopausal period. These observations persisted in the subgroup of patients without changes in DMT or co-morbidities diagnosed during the observation period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Neurology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Disability
  • Disease activity
  • Disease progression
  • Estrogen
  • Menopause
  • Multiple sclerosis


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Menopause in Multiple Sclerosis Course: A Longitudinal Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this