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Season of birth and multiple sclerosis in Sweden

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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.

Keywords: epidemiology; etiology; month of birth; multiple sclerosis; season of birth; seasonality; vitamin D

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010


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