Research published yesterday in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry suggest that birth month has a significant association with multiple sclerosis (MS), with as much as a 12% difference in risk.
Dr Ruth Dobson and colleagues in London conducted a meta-analysis of 10 studies, including more than 152,000 MS patients.The studies included in the analysis were published in the past 12 years, included both MS and control groups, and provided data on month or season of birth for both groups.
Analysis of all the studies demonstrated that there was a 5% increase of MS births in April (p=0.05) and 5% fewer MS births in October (p=0.04) and an 8% lowered risk in November (p=0.01).
The authors emphasize that this study provides the strongest evidence to date for the month of birth effect seen in MS.
“This finding, which supports concepts hypothesized some years previously, surely adds weight to the argument for early intervention studies to prevent MS through vitamin D supplementation,” the authors explain.