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Nutrients. 2018 Feb 27;10(3). pii: E268. doi: 10.3390/nu10030268.

MS Sunshine Study: Sun Exposure But Not Vitamin D Is Associated with Multiple Sclerosis Risk in Blacks and Hispanics.

Author information

1
Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, 100 S Los Robles, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. Annette.M.Langer-Gould@kp.org.
2
College of Medicine, Biology & Environment, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2000, Australia. robyn.lucas@anu.edu.au.
3
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. anny.h.xiang@kp.org.
4
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. lie.h.chen@kp.org.
5
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. jun.x.wu@kp.org.
6
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. edlin.g.gonzales@kp.org.
7
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. samanthaha@pcom.edu.
8
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, 4170 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA. samanthaha@pcom.edu.
9
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA. Jessica.b.smith@kp.org.
10
QB3 Genetic Epidemiology and Genomics Lab, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, 209 Hildebrand Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-7356, USA. hquach@berkeley.edu.
11
QB3 Genetic Epidemiology and Genomics Lab, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, 209 Hildebrand Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-7356, USA. lbarcellos@berkeley.edu.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) incidence and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels vary by race/ethnicity. We examined the consistency of beneficial effects of 25OHD and/or sun exposure for MS risk across multiple racial/ethnic groups. We recruited incident MS cases and controls (blacks 116 cases/131 controls; Hispanics 183/197; whites 247/267) from the membership of Kaiser Permanente Southern California into the MS Sunshine Study to simultaneously examine sun exposure and 25OHD, accounting for genetic ancestry and other factors. Higher lifetime ultraviolet radiation exposure (a rigorous measure of sun exposure) was associated with a lower risk of MS independent of serum 25OHD levels in blacks (adjusted OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.31-0.83; p = 0.007) and whites (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.48-0.94; p = 0.020) with a similar magnitude of effect that did not reach statistical significance in Hispanics (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.42-1.04; p = 0.071). Higher serum 25OHD levels were associated with a lower risk of MS only in whites. No association was found in Hispanics or blacks regardless of how 25OHD was modeled. Lifetime sun exposure appears to reduce the risk of MS regardless of race/ethnicity. In contrast, serum 25OHD levels are not associated with MS risk in blacks or Hispanics. Our findings challenge the biological plausibility of vitamin D deficiency as causal for MS and call into question the targeting of specific serum 25OHD levels to achieve health benefits, particularly in blacks and Hispanics.

KEYWORDS:

Hispanics; blacks; multiple sclerosis; sun exposure; vitamin D

PMID:
29495467
PMCID:
PMC5872686
DOI:
10.3390/nu10030268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Annette Langer–Gould was site principal investigator for two industry-sponsored phase 3 clinical trials (Biogen Idec; Hoffman-LaRoche) and was site PI for one industry–sponsored observation study (Biogen Idec). She receives grant support from the National Institutes of Health, NINDS, PCORI and the National MS Society; Robyn Lucas receives grant support from Cancer Australia and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; Lie Hong Chen declares no conflict of interest; Jun Wu declares no conflict of interest; Edlin Gonzales declares no conflict of interest; Samantha Haraszti declares no conflict of interest; Jessica Smith declares no conflict of interest; Anny Xiang declares no conflict of interest; Hong Quach declares no conflict of interest; Lisa Barcellos declares no conflict of interest.

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