Childhood body mass index and multiple sclerosis risk: a long-term cohort study

This prospective study from the US examined if body mass index (BMI) at ages 7-13 years was associated with MS risk among 302,043 individuals. The researchers linked the Copenhagen School Health Records Register (CSHRR) with the Danish MS registry. 774 MS cases were identified.

They found that in females at age 7-13 years, a one-unit increase in BMI z-score was associated with an increased risk of MS. Girls who were ≥95th percentile for BMI had a 1.61-1.95-fold increased risk of MS as compared to girls <85th percentile. In males, a one-unit increase in BMI z-score at age 7 years was 1.17 and at age 13 years was 1.15.

Overall, the association was weaker in males and not significant. There was no association between birth weight and risk of MS. Therefore, this study demonstrated that a high BMI in early life is a risk factor for MS, however the mechanisms underlying the association need to be further evaluated.

Authors: Munger KL, Bentzen J, Laursen B,
Source: Mult Scler. 2013 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]

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