Occupational factors in multiple sclerosis: an analysis of occupational mortality statistics for men and married women in Great Britain

Neuroepidemiology. 1996;15(4):222-8. doi: 10.1159/000109911.


This paper presents an exploratory study based on occupational mortality statistics for Great Britain. It examines disease concordance between marital partners for multiple sclerosis (MS). Previous studies have revealed that a married woman's life expectancy and her specific cause of death is reliably associated with the occupational mortality of her husband. This relationship exists across a wide range of occupations but is particularly marked in the case of MS. The present study examines the mortality rates for MS for a large number of occupations (taking into account possible sources of statistical bias) and considers the relationship of these findings with existing hypotheses about the aetiology of MS. It is suggested that there should be more consideration of occupational and psychological factors in multicausal explanations of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Survival Rate
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology