Multiple sclerosis and chronic inflammatory diseases. A case-control study

Acta Neurol Scand. 1996 May;93(5):322-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1996.tb00004.x.


Introduction: Disease associations may provide useful etiological leads in relation to diseases of unknown cause.

Material and methods: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study of 155 MS patients and 200 controls in Hordaland County, Norway to investigate the possible association between MS and autoimmune diseases.

Results: The MS patients had a statistically significant more frequent coexistence of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and goitre when compared to the controls (OR = 2.96; 95% CI 1.23-7.66). This difference persisted when analysing the definite MS cases separately (OR = 2.90; 95% CI 1.10-7.96). The familial occurrence of chronic inflammatory diseases was not significantly different in cases and controls. A significant increased risk to develop MS occurred in first degree relatives of MS patients (OR = 12.58; 95% CI 1.73-552).

Conclusion: Acknowledging the low figures, the uncertain estimates with large confidence intervals, and thus the obvious role of chance in this study, the results might indicate that a generalized, genetically controlled problem of the immune system could result in aggregates of the reported diseases, all of which are partly characterized by aberrations of the immune system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Female
  • Goiter / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Psoriasis / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires