Vitamin D Levels Tied to Risk of MS

 

Examining vitamin D levels in the blood may help predict whether a person is at risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a large new study published Neurology (September 13). Using a repository of blood samples from more than 800,000 women in Finland, taken as part of prenatal testing, investigators identified 1,092 women who were diagnosed with MS an average of nine years after giving the blood samples. These samples were compared to those of 2,123 women who did not develop the disease. Results showed that 58 percent of women who developed MS had deficient levels of vitamin D, compared to 52 percent of the women who did not develop the disease. The findings also revealed that with each 50nmol/L increase in vitamin D levels in the blood, the risk of developing MS later in life decreased by 39 percent. In addition, women who had deficient levels of vitamin D had a 43 percent higher risk of developing MS than women who had adequate levels as well as a 27 percent higher risk than women with insufficient levels. The authors concluded that vitamin D can have multiple healthy benefits but that more research is needed regarding the optimal dose of vitamin D for reducing risk of MS.

 

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Launched in January 2002, Practical Neurology strives to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of neurology practices. Each month, our experts explain the real-world significance of recent advances in neurologic science and offer step-by-step advice on how to overcome the clinical and business challenges neurologists face. Our straightforward, how-to articles give neurologists tools they can put into practice right away.

 
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