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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Extreme Obesity in Girls Linked to Higher Risk of MS

By January 31, 2013

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Researchers in Southern California have found a link between obesity in girls and an increased risk of developing MS. The group used data from a pediatric health study, which included nearly a million kids. They compared 75 children and teens diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome between the ages of 2 and 18 and compared their body mass index (BMI - which had been measured before their symptoms appeared) to the rest of the kids who didn't have MS. Here is what they found:

  • 51% of the kids and teens with MS were obese, compared to 37% of the young people without MS.
  • The risk of developing MS was 1.5 times higher for overweight girls than for girls of normal weight.
  • Among moderately obese girls, the risk increased to 1.8 times that of normal weight girls.
  • This is the one that got me - among girls who were labeled "extremely obese," (BMI of ) the risk of developing MS was almost four times (3.76 times) that of normal weight girls.
  • This association was not seen in boys.

The authors conclude that we will see a rise in MS cases as the childhood and adolescent obesity epidemic continues to grow.

Here is a link to the abstract: Childhood obesity and risk of pediatric multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome




February 6, 2013 at 11:35 am
(1) abc says:

Wondering how I got MS: my mother never smocked & I’ ve been on the skinny side all my life. Just bad luck case?

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