Neuroepidemiology. 2004 Jan-Feb;23(1-2):1-12
Coo H, Aronson KJ.
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., Canada.
We reviewed the literature published in the English language to determine the weight of evidence for several potential non-genetic risk factors for multiple sclerosis, including solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), sex hormones and dietary fat/fatty acids.
We ranked the plausibility of each factor and graded the methodological rigour of case-control and cohort studies to determine whether there was a sufficient number of high-quality studies to weigh the evidence.
Based on our criteria, the plausibility for solar UVR and sex hormones is good and fair for dietary fat/fatty acids.
However, the body of epidemiologic evidence is insufficient for these three sets of risk factors.
We did not find a sufficient number of methodologically rigorous studies to weigh the evidence for any of the potential risk factors we examined.