Multiple sclerosis and dental amalgam: case-control study in Ferrara, Italy

Neuroepidemiology. 2001 May;20(2):134-7. doi: 10.1159/000054773.


Dental amalgam fillings containing mercury have been suggested as a possible risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS). In the context of a wider program of investigation into environmental risk factors and MS, we conducted a case-control comparison to investigate the alleged association between MS, dental caries, and amalgam fillings. We included 132 MS patients with onset during the last 16 years and 423 controls, matched to cases for sex, age and residence. Data were collected by a personal interview conducted by trained doctors. Cases and controls gave informed consent. Although we report a trend toward a higher number of dental fillings in cases than controls, odds ratios for subjects with exposures of different duration and with different numbers of amalgam fillings were not statistically significant. This case-control study failed to demonstrate an association between either the number of dental amalgam fillings or the duration of exposure to mercury amalgam and MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Dental Amalgam / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Dental Amalgam