More MS news articles for May 2000

Multiple Sclerosis Risk From Long-term Environmental Factors

A DGReview of :"The age-range of risk of developing multiple sclerosis"

By David Loshak

The risk from environmental factors in multiple sclerosis may operate over many years, not just in childhood and early adult life, Australian researchers contend.

They found that the further south people lived in Australia, the greater the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the Australian-born population.

The prevalence among people who had immigrated from the UK and Ireland also showed a significant correlation with latitude. However, that relationship was strongly influenced by the high prevalence in Hobart, Tasmania -- other than there, the prevalence in migrants was much less than in their countries of origin.

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis among people who migrated before they were aged 15 years from high-risk UK and Ireland to lower-risk Australia was not significantly different from the prevalence of the disease among older migrants.

Likewise, a case-control study showed little association between age at migration and the risk of developing the disease.