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Association of smoking with risk of multiple sclerosis: a population-based study.

Ramagopalan SV, Lee JD, Yee IM, Guimond C, Traboulsee AL, Ebers GC, Sadovnick AD.

J Neurol. 2013 Jul;260(7):1778-81.

Genetic and environmental factors have important roles in multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility. Several studies have shown an association between smoking and MS risk. Here, in a population-based Canadian cohort, we investigate the relationship between personal and maternal smoking exposure and the risk of MS. Using the longitudinal Canadian database, 3,157 MS cases and 756 spouse controls were administered questionnaires on active and passive smoking history. Mothers of cases and controls were also asked about their smoking exposure during pregnancy. The MS cases were more likely to have smoked than spouse controls (odds ratio 1.32, 95 % confidence interval 1.10-1.60, p = 0.003). This association was driven by an excess of ever-smokers in male MS cases. No association was seen with maternal active or passive smoking exposure during pregnancy. Ever-smoking is associated with increased MS risk in males. Further work is needed to understand the mechanism underlying this association.

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About the Editors

  • Prof Timothy Vartanian

    Timothy Vartanian, Professor at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell...
  • Dr Claire S. Riley

    Claire S. Riley, MD is an assistant attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology in the Neurological Institute, Columbia University,...
  • Dr Rebecca Farber

    Rebecca Farber, MD is an attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, in New...

This online Resource Centre has been made possible by a donation from EMD Serono, Inc., a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Note that EMD Serono, Inc., has no editorial control or influence over the content of this Resource Centre. The Resource Centre and all content therein are subject to an independent editorial review.

The Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation
supports promising translational research projects by academic researchers to improve understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) for the ultimate benefit of patients.  For full information and application details, please click here

Journal Editor's choice

Recommended by Prof. Brenda Banwell

Causes of death among persons with multiple sclerosis

Gary R. Cutter, Jeffrey Zimmerman, Amber R. Salter, et al.

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, September 2015, Vol 4 Issue 5