How to prevent Multiple Sclerosis?
Smoking is a major preventable risk factor for MS
Previous studies could show that active smoking is a risk factor for MS. Moreover, patients with MS have a worse prognosis compared to non-smoking patients. Furthermore, MS drugs are not as effective if patients are smoking.
The recently released study was the first study focusing on smoking and passive smoking. The researchers at the Karolinska University in Sweden included 2,455 MS patients and 5,336 healthy (control) individuals.
Both – smoking and passive smoking – are increasing the risk of Multiple Sclerosis
The effect was “dose-dependent”, meaning: the higher the dose of exposure to smoke – the higher the risk to develop Multiple sclerosis.
The researchers showed that 20.4% of MS patients were linked to smoke exposure (at the population level). Up to 41% of MS patients were linked to smoke exposure if the individuals were carrying a genetic risk factor for Multiple sclerosis.
The researchers concluded: “From a public health perspective, the impact of smoking and passive smoking on MS risk is considerable. Preventive measures in order to reduce tobacco smoke exposure are, therefore, essential. “