What aren’t the risk factors for MS?
This study looks for factors in childhood that may affect risk.
If you look at lots and lots of factors, by chance you will find one that is significant and in this study they found playing in grass and products for head lice. To be important and flu with high fever. But when adjustments were made for thse disappeared. Bacterial triggers were not evident. However when looking for a needle in a haystack, you probably need to examine thousands of cases as factors that have been found carry small increase in risks. Was the flu?, really flu? Could it be EBV? We will never know. However hopefully some piece of mind that you can play in the grass.
Early infectious exposures are not associated with increased risk of paediatric-onset multiple sclerosis.
Suleiman L, Waubant E, Aaen G, Belman A, Benson L, Candee M, Chitnis T, Gorman M, Goyal M, Greenberg B, Harris Y, Hart J, Kahn I, Krupp L, Lotze T, Mar S, Moodley M, Ness J, Nourbakhsh B, Rensel M, Rodriguez M, Rose J, Rubin J, Schreiner T, Tillema JM, Waldman A, Weinstock-Guttman B, Casper TC, Waltz M, Graves JS; Network of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers.
Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2018 Mar 26;22:103-107
We sought to determine if early infectious exposures such as daycare, early use of antibiotics, vaccinations and other germ exposures including pacifier use and playing on grass are associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) risk in children.
This was a case-control study of children with MS or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and healthy controls enrolled at sixteen clinics participating in the US Network of Pediatric MS Centers. Parents completed a comprehensive environmental questionnaire that captured early infectious exposures, habits, and illnesses in the first five years of life. A panel of at least two paediatric MS specialists confirmed diagnosis of participants. Association of early infectious variables with diagnosis was assessed via multivariable logistic regression analyses, adjusting for age, sex, race, ethnicity, US birth region, and socioeconomic status (SES).
Questionnaire responses for 326 eligible cases (mean age 14.9, 63.5% girls) and 506 healthy pediatric subjects (mean age 14.4, 56.9% girls) were included in analyses. History of flu with high fever before age five (p = 0.01), playing outside in grass and use of special products to treat head lice or scabies (p = 0.04) were associated with increased risk of MS in unadjusted analyses. In the multivariable model adjusted for age, sex, race, ethnicity, and mother’s highest educational attainment, these results were not statistically significant. Notably, antibiotic use (p = 0.22) and regular daycare attendance before age 6 (p = 0.09) were not associated with odds of developing MS.
Early infectious factors investigated in this study were not associated with MS risk.