Clinical Edge

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

Assessing Environmental Factors and Risk of MS

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub 2018 Jun 23; Mowry, et al

Although not statistically significant, there was a suggestive association of pesticide exposure with having multiple sclerosis (MS) among men, but only in those who were positive for HLA-DRB1*15:01, the strongest genetic variant associated with MS, according to a recent study. This study demonstrates the application of least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO), a regression analysis method that was used to identify a subset of exposures with potential relevance to disease in a large population-based (Kaiser Permanente Northern California [KPNC]) case-control study. Researchers found:

  • There was a suggestive association of pesticide exposure with having MS among men, but only in those who were positive for HLA-DRB1*15:01 (odds ratio pooled =3.11).
  • While this finding requires confirmation, it is interesting given the association between pesticide exposure and other neurological diseases.

Citation:

Mowry EM, Hedström AK, Gianfrancesco MA, et al. Incorporating machine learning approaches to assess putative environmental risk factors for multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print June 23, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.06.009.

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