Canadian researchers have now looked at 8,983 people with MS enrolled in the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis Registry, and analysed them according to whether they had vascular conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so on.
They found that having a vascular condition at the onset of MS resulted in around a 50% increased risk of having difficulty walking; for those who developed a vascular condition later, there was also roughly a 50% increased risk of difficulty walking. The risk increased the more vascular conditions a person had. Whereas it took about 19 years for a person with MS who did not have any vascular conditions to need assistance with walking, it took only 13 years for someone with a vascular condition.
The researchers concluded that research was needed on the mechanisms by which vascular disease influences disability, whether treating the vascular conditions can reduce MS progression, and the role of lifestyle management in MS. What they didn't say was that there may well be a correlation with vascular conditions in other parts of the body and CCSVI, given that we know that people with vascular disease in one part of the body are likely to have or develop it in others.