New study suggests MS risk, obesity link

July 01, 2016

A new study suggests that elevated body mass index could be an important, and potentially modifiable, risk factor for multiple sclerosis. The authors say the findings provide more reason to address rising obesity rates and to investigate whether interventions that promote a healthy lifestyle may help to mitigate MS risk.

The researchers wanted to know if inherited genetic variation that influences BMI is linked with MS. Using data from the largest genome-wide association study consortia for MS and BMI, the researchers found evidence supporting elevated BMI as a causal risk factor for MS. A genetically determined change in the BMI category from overweight to obese was linked with a substantially higher risk of MS in this study.

The study was published in the journal PLoS One.

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