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Past exposure to sun, skin phenotype, and risk of multiple sclerosis: case-control study

Citation

Van der Mei, IAF and Ponsonby, AL and Dwyer, T and Blizzard, CL and Simmons, R and Taylor, BVM and Butzkueven, H and Kilpatrick, T, Past exposure to sun, skin phenotype, and risk of multiple sclerosis: case-control study, British Medical Journal, 327, (7410) pp. 316-320. ISSN 0959-535X (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7410.316

Abstract

Objective: To examine whether past high sun exposure is associated with a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis. Design: Population based case-control study. Setting: Tasmania, latitudes 41-3°S. Participants: 136 cases with multiple sclerosis and 272 controls randomly drawn from the community and matched on sex and year of birth. Main outcome measure: Multiple sclerosis defined by both clinical and magnetic resonance imaging criteria. Results: Higher sun exposure when aged 6-15 years (average 2-3 hours or more a day in summer during weekends and holidays) was associated with a decreased risk of multiple sclerosis (adjusted odds ratio 0.31, 95% confidence interval 0.16 to 0.59). Higher exposure in winter seemed more important than higher exposure in summer. Greater actinic damage was also independently associated with a decreased risk of multiple sclerosis (0.32, 0.11 to 0.88 for grades 4-6 disease). A dose-response relation was observed between multiple sclerosis and decreasing sun exposure when aged 6-15 years and with actinic damage. Conclusion: Higher sun exposure during childhood and early adolescence is associated with a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis. Insufficient ultraviolet radiation may therefore influence the development of multiple sclerosis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response)
Author:Van der Mei, IAF (Associate Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
Author:Ponsonby, AL (Professor Anne Ponsonby)
Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
Author:Blizzard, CL (Associate Professor Leigh Blizzard)
Author:Taylor, BVM (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:34681
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:298
Deposited By:Menzies Centre
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2010-05-05
Downloads:0

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