Season of birth and multiple sclerosis in Sweden
Abstract:Salzer J, Svenningsson A, Sundström P. Season of birth and multiple sclerosis in Sweden.
Acta Neurol Scand: 2010: 121: 20–23.
© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objective –
To estimate the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) by month of birth in Sweden. Materials and Methods –
Cases (n = 9361) were obtained from the Swedish MS Registry. All births in Sweden 1900–2007 served as controls (n = 12,116,853). The risk of MS was analyzed for each month of birth separately compared with birth during the other 11 months. Results –
More (11%) cases with MS than expected were born in June. Fewer (8% and 10%) cases with MS than expected were born in December and January (non-significant after correction for multiple analyses). More (5%) cases with MS than expected were born in February–July as compared with August–January. Conclusions –
This study supports previous results suggesting an association between the risk of MS and the season of birth. Decreased exposure to sun in the winter leading to low vitamin D levels during pregnancy is a possible explanation that needs further research.