High body mass index before age 20 is associated with increased risk for multiple sclerosis in both men and women

Mult Scler. 2012 Sep;18(9):1334-6. doi: 10.1177/1352458512436596. Epub 2012 Feb 10.


In a Swedish population-based case-control study (1571 cases, 3371 controls), subjects with different body mass indices (BMIs) were compared regarding multiple sclerosis (MS) risk, by calculating odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Subjects whose BMI exceeded 27 kg/m(2) at age 20 had a two-fold increased risk of developing MS compared with normal weight subjects. Speculatively, the obesity epidemic may explain part of the increasing MS incidence as recorded in some countries. Measures taken against adolescent obesity may thus be a preventive strategy against MS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / diagnosis
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult