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Obesity and Multiple Sclerosis Susceptibility: A Review.

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Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.


Several studies conducted around the world over the last decade have demonstrated that early childhood and adolescent obesity are significant risk factors for MS susceptibility. This association has been largely confirmed in females, while evidence supporting a strong role for obesity and risk of MS in males has been mixed. Further, interaction between increased body mass index and genetic as well as environmental factors in MS susceptibility has been proposed, and evidence of a causal relationship has recently been established. In this review, we discuss findings supporting the significant association between obesity and MS, as well as identify areas for future investigation.


Autoimmune disease; Body mass index; Epidemiology; Multiple sclerosis; Obesity; Susceptibility

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