Multiple sclerosis and solar exposure before the age of 15 years: case-control study in Cuba, Martinique and Sicily.
Few studies report a protective role of childhood solar exposure to multiple sclerosis. Our objective was to confirm the protective role of childhood solar exposure in multiple sclerosis in Cuba, Martinique and Sicily. This was a matched case- control study, and cases met Poser criteria for clinically, laboratory (definite, probable) multiple sclerosis. Controls were resident population, without neurological disorder, living close to cases (within 100 km), matched for sex, age (+/-5 years), residence before age 15. We recruited 551 subjects during a 1-year period (193 cases, Cuba n = 95, Sicily n = 50, Martinique n = 48; 358 controls). Some (89%) met definite clinical multiple sclerosis criteria (relapsing remitting form (with and without sequel) (74%), secondary progressive (21%), primary progressive (5%)). Odds ratios in a uni-variate analysis were: family history of multiple sclerosis (5.1) and autoimmune disorder (4.0); wearing shirt (3.5), hat (2.7), pants (2.4); sun exposure causing sunburn (1.8); sun exposure duration (1 h more/day; weekends 0.91, weekdays 0.86); bare-chested (0.6); water sports (0.2). Independent factors in the multivariate analysis were family history of multiple sclerosis (4.8 (1.50-15.10)), wearing pants under sunlight (1.9 (1.10-3.20)), sun exposure duration (1 h more/ day, weekdays 0.90 (0.85-0.98), weekends 0.93 (0.87-0.99)), water sports (0.23 (0.13-0.40)). We conclude that outdoor leisure activities in addition to sun exposure reports are associated with a reduced multiple sclerosis risk, with evidence of dose response.
Université de Limoges, IFR 145 GEIST, Institut de Neurologie Tropicale, Limoges, France., , , , , , ,
Pub Type(s)Journal Article