Adolescent infection increases MS risk

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NHE
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Adolescent infection increases MS risk

Post by NHE » Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:01 am

Hospital-diagnosed infections before age 20 and risk of a subsequent multiple sclerosis diagnosis
Brain. 2021 Mar 9;awab100.

The involvement of specific viral and bacterial infections as risk factors for multiple sclerosis has been studied extensively. However, whether this extends to infections in a broader sense is less clear and little is known about whether risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis is associated with other types and sites of infections, such as of the CNS. This study aims to assess if hospital-diagnosed infections by type and site before age 20 years are associated with risk of a subsequent multiple sclerosis diagnosis and whether this association is explained entirely by infectious mononucleosis, pneumonia, and CNS infections. Individuals born in Sweden between 1970-1994 were identified using the Swedish Total Population Register (n = 2,422,969). Multiple sclerosis diagnoses from age 20 years and hospital-diagnosed infections before age 20 years were identified using the Swedish National Patient Register. Risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis associated with various infections in adolescence (11-19 years) and earlier childhood (birth-10 years) was estimated using Cox regression, with adjustment for sex, parental socioeconomic position, and infection type. None of the infections by age 10 years were associated with risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Any infection in adolescence increased the risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis (hazard ratio 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.21-1.46) and remained statistically significant after exclusion of infectious mononucleosis, pneumonia, and CNS infection (hazard ratio 1.17, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.30). CNS infection in adolescence (excluding encephalomyelitis to avoid including acute disseminated encephalitis) increased the risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis (hazard ratio 1.85, 95% confidence interval 1.11-3.07). The increased risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis associated with viral infection in adolescence was largely explained by infectious mononucleosis. Bacterial infections in adolescence increased risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, but the magnitude of risk reduced after excluding infectious mononucleosis, pneumonia and CNS infection (hazard ratio 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.13-1.51). Respiratory infection in adolescence also increased risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis (hazard ratio 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.30-1.75), but was not statistically significant after excluding infectious mononucleosis and pneumonia. These findings suggest that a variety of serious infections in adolescence, including novel evidence for CNS infections, are risk factors for a subsequent multiple sclerosis diagnosis, further demonstrating adolescence is a critical period of susceptibility to environmental exposures that raise the risk of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Importantly, this increased risk cannot be entirely explained by infectious mononucleosis, pneumonia, or CNS infections.

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