Clinical Edge

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

Stressful Life Events and Multiple Sclerosis

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub 2018 Sep 22; Abdollahpour, et al

In a recent study that investigated the possible association of stressful-life events and multiple sclerosis (MS) risk after adjustment for relevant confounders, researchers could not detect a statistically significant role for the total stressful life event during the preceding 3 years and an MS diagnosis. However, there is some evidence confirming the possible role of some individual life events (ie, divorce and periods of homelessness) as potential risk factors for MS and conversely, having married as a protective factor in MS onset. Researchers conducted a population-based, incident case-control study that recruited 547 MS cases and 1,057 healthy controls between August 2013 and February 2015. They used standard random digit dialing protocol for control selection and found:

  • While total life events number was not associated with risk of MS, homeless periods, as well as divorce, increased the risk of MS.
  • However, marriage, death of a partner, and joblessness reduced the risk of MS.


Abdollahpour I, Nedjat S, Mansournia MA, Eckert S, Weinstock-Guttman B. Stress-full life events and multiple sclerosis: A population-based incident case-control study. [Published online ahead of print September 22, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.09.026.