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MS Frontiers 2022 | Diet quality and clinical progression in MS over 7.5 years of follow-up

A cross-sectional study of diet quality in the “Health Outcomes and Lifestyle In a Sample of people with Multiple sclerosis” (HOLISM) international cohort showed beneficial associations between baseline diet quality and frequencies of severe disability, fatigue, and depression risk. Limited by the cross-sectional nature of the investigation, Steve Simpson-Yap, PhD, MPH, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, and his team wanted to substantiate these findings by performing a prospective investigation. Participants from the HOLISM cohort were assessed over 7.5 years to assess the relationships between longitudinal trajectories of diet and clinical progression over time. Dietary data were obtained using a modified Diet Habits Questionnaire (DHQ), recording baseline diet quality as well as how this changed over the follow-up period. Overall, findings were mostly consistent with the cross-sectional data. Baseline diet quality (higher DHQ score) was significantly associated with less disability and lower risk of increasing disability. Additionally, those with increased or stable diet quality over the follow-up period showed less disability progression compared to those whose DHQ scores decreased. DHQ scores were not associated with fatigue or depression risk and the 2.5- or 7.5-year assessment time points. This interview took place during the MS Frontiers 2022 congress in Swansea, UK.