Previous reports of comorbid conditions in poliomyelitis survivors mainly focused on some disease categories, such as respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, psychiatric diseases, neurological diseases and cancer. Data regarding a wide spectrum of medical comorbidities in patients with poliomyelitis is still sparse. This study aimed to investigate and profile the wide range of comorbidities among the survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis in a Chinese population. In total, 2,032 paralytic poliomyelitis patients were selected as the study group and the comparison group consisted of 10,160 randomly selected enrollees. The comorbidities for analysis were based on a modified version of the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index. Conditional logistic regression analyses were computed to investigate the risk of comorbidities for these two groups. As compared to controls, patients with paralytic poliomyelitis had significantly higher prevalence of hypertension, ischemic heart disease, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, peripheral vascular disorder, stroke, paralysis, migraines, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, pulmonary circulation disorders, chronic pulmonary disease, liver disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis B or C, deficiency anemias, depression, and lymphoma. Most of the differences are of clinical interest, ORs often being between 2 and 3. No significant difference between poliomyelitis patients and controls was observed in the prevalence of SLE, tuberculosis, alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Our findings demonstrate that survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis in Taiwan are at higher risk of having multiple medical comorbidities although some potential confounding factors including educational level, marital status, obesity and physical activity are not available in our database. The pattern is generally consistent with previous observations from Western populations. Nevertheless, we found several novel associations which have rarely, if ever, been reported previously.
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