Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

No Link Between MS and Ambient Air Pollution

Environ Res; ePub 2018 Jun 22; Bai, Burnett, et al

In a recent, large, population-based cohort study, researchers did not observe significant associations between multiple sclerosis (MS) incidence and long-term exposures to ambient air pollution, specifically fine particles (PM2.5), nitrogen oxide (NO2), and ozone (O3),in adults from 2001–2013. Researchers conducted a population-based cohort study to investigate the associations between long-term exposures to PM2.5, NO2, and O3 and the incidence of MS. The study population included all native-born residents, aged 20–40 years. Incident MS was ascertained from a validated registry. They assigned estimates of annual concentrations of these pollutants to the residential postal codes of subjects for each year during the 13 years of follow-up. Various sensitivity analyses were conducted, such as lagging exposure up to 5 years and adjusting for access to neurological care, annual average temperature, and population density. They found:

  • Between 2001 and 2013, 6,203 incident cases of MS were identified.
  • The adjusted HR of incident MS was 0.96 for PM2.5, 0.91 for NO2, and 1.09 for O3.
  • These results were robust to various sensitivity analyses conducted.

Bai Li, Burnett RT, Kwong JC, et al. Long-term exposure to air pollution and the incidence of multiple sclerosis: A population-based cohort study. [Published online ahead of print June 22, 2018]. Environ Res. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.003.

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