The aim of this case-control study was to assess the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) associated with certain lifestyle factors (cigarette smoking and coffee and alcohol consumption). The study groups consisted of 210 cases with clinically proven and/or laboratory-confirmed MS (Poser's criteria) and an identical number of sex- and age-matched hospital controls. In the MS patients, cigarette smoking was significantly more frequent than in the controls (OR = 1.6, p = 0.021). A dose-response relationship between the risk of MS and both duration (years) of smoking (p = 0.027) and number of cigarettes smoked daily (p = 0.021) was observed. Coffee consumption was significantly more frequent in the MS group (OR = 1.7, p = 0.047), with dose-response relationships. The analysis of alcohol drinking showed a significant association between consumption of hard liquor per day and risk of MS (OR = 6.7, p = 0.026). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, smoking was detected to be a significant independent risk factor for MS (OR = 2.4, p = 0.004).
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