Many people live with more than one chronic health condition. Having MS doesn’t stop people from developing other conditions, and vice versa. Having more than one chronic health condition at once is called comorbidity. In MS, an increasing amount of evidence suggests that physical and mental comorbidities and adverse health factors, such as smoking and obesity, are common and can affect the disease.
Recent research suggests that the five most common conditions that exist alongside MS are depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and chronic lung disease.
However, it’s important not to assume that every health issue is related to MS. Getting annual medical check-ups and seeking medical attention for new or persistent health issues is important to a person’s overall health. Research is demonstrating that treating comorbidities may help enable people to better cope with the symptoms of MS and the side effects of treatments, as well as improve overall quality of life.