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Acta Neurol Scand. 2000 Jun;101(6):381-3.

Is season of birth associated with multiple sclerosis?

Author information

1
Institute of Neuropsychiatry, University of Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the monthly distribution of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients' births with that of the Sicilian population.

BACKGROUND:

Studies on the association between season of birth and risk of MS are scanty and controversial.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

Archives of the Institute of Neuropsychiatry of the Universities of Palermo and Catania were searched up to 1995 for definite MS patients (McDonald & Halliday criteria). The monthly distribution of MS patients' births (N= 965) was compared with that of the Sicilian population (N= 5,608,307).

RESULTS:

The distribution of births among MS patients compared with the general population was not different when tested by the chi2 statistic (P> 0.25). The Hewitt's non-parametric test for seasonality showed an excess of births between June and November among MS patients (P=0.004).

CONCLUSION:

A different pattern of MS patients' births is observed in Sicily and in Northern countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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