(HealthDay News) — About 40% of patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) die of MDS within 5 years, according to a study published in the British Journal of Haematology.

For this study, researchers analyzed data on 2396 patients with lower-risk MDS in the European MDS registry from 2008 to 2019.

At a median follow-up of 3.5 years, 900 patients had died. The median overall survival (OS) was 4.7 years. The 5-year OS rate was 47.3%, and the 5-year relative survival (RS) rate was 59.6%.

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Acute myeloid leukemia/MDS (20.1%), infection (17.8%), and cardiovascular disease (9.8%) were the most common causes of death. The likelihood of dying from causes other than MDS was increased for patients older than 80 years of age and the lowest-risk patients.

“Although RS is relatively high during the first year (94.3%), it decreases to 59.6% after 5 years,” the authors wrote. “This implies that >40% of patients with [lower-risk] MDS die from MDS-related causes, either directly or indirectly, within 5 years of diagnosis.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; several pharmaceutical companies provided study funding.

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