Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teenage obesity linked to increased risk of multiple sclerosis

Date:
November 15, 2009
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Teenage women who are obese may be more than twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis as adults compared to female teens who are not obese, according to a new study.

Teenage women who are obese may be more than twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) as adults compared to female teens who are not obese, according to a study published in the November 10, 2009, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The research involved 238,371women from the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study II who were 25 to 55 years old. The women answered a questionnaire about their health behavior and medical information every two years. Over the course of 40 years, 593 developed MS.

Participants reported their weight and height at age 18. Scientists then calculated their body mass index (BMI). The women were also asked to choose one of nine body silhouettes, ranging from very thin to extremely obese, to describe their body size at five, 10 and 20 years old.

The study found that women who had a BMI of 30 or larger at age 18 had more than twice the risk of developing MS compared to those with a BMI between 18.5 and 20.9. A woman with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 kilograms per meter squared was considered overweight whereas a woman who was considered obese had a BMI of 30 or more kilograms per meter squared. The disease risk among women who were overweight but not obese at age 18 was only somewhat increased. The results were the same after accounting for smoking status and physical activity level.

Women who had a larger body size at 20 years of age, represented by the use of silhouettes in the study, also had twice the risk of MS compared to women who reported a thinner body size. Larger body sizes at ages 5 and 10 were not associated with MS risk.

"Our results suggest that weight during adolescence, rather than childhood or adulthood, is critical in determining the risk of MS," said study author Kassandra Munger, ScD, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "Teaching and practicing obesity prevention from the start, but especially during teenage years, may be an important step in reducing the risk of MS later in life for women."

Munger said there are two possible explanations why obesity may affect MS risk. Higher levels of vitamin D in the body are thought to reduce disease risk. People who are obese tend to have lower vitamin D levels compared to people who are not obese. In addition, fatty tissue produces substances that affect the immune system and certain types of cell activities that are thought to be associated with MS.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Teenage obesity linked to increased risk of multiple sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173400.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2009, November 15). Teenage obesity linked to increased risk of multiple sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173400.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Teenage obesity linked to increased risk of multiple sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173400.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins