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Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2018 Oct 9;5(12):1513-1521. doi: 10.1002/acn3.663. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Several household chemical exposures are associated with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis and other Demyelinating Disease Center Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis Missouri.
2
Department of Neurology UC Davis Children's Hospital Sacramento California.
3
Data Coordinating and Analysis Center University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah.
4
Department of Radiology Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis Missouri.
5
University of Southwestern Texas Dallas Texas.
6
Jacobs Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center State University of New York at Buffalo Buffalo New York.
7
Mayo Clinic Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota.
8
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center Loma Linda University Children's Hospital Loma Linda California.
9
Lourie Center for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Stony Brook University Hospital New York New York.
10
Depatment of Epidemiology University of California Berkeley Northern California.
11
Department of Neurology University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah.
12
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders Program Boston Children's Hospital Boston Massachusetts.
13
Primary Children's Hospital University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah.
14
Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center Massachusetts General Hospital Boston Massachusetts.
15
Center for Pediatric-Onset Demyelinating Disease Children's Hospital of Alabama University of Alabama Birmingham Alabama.
16
Children's National Medical Center Washington DC.
17
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center University of California San Francisco San Francisco California.
18
The Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis Texas Children's Hospital Baylor College of Medicine Houston Texas.
19
Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Ohio.
20
Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Chicago Illinois.
21
Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center Children's Hospital Colorado University of Colorado at Denver Aurora Colorado.
22
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
23
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center New York University New York New York.

Abstract

Background:

There is limited information about the potential associations of multiple sclerosis (MS) and commonly used household chemicals.

Methods:

We performed a case-control study of exposures to common household chemicals during childhood in children with MS and healthy pediatric controls. Exposures to household products were collected from a comprehensive questionnaire (http://www.usnpmsc.org/Documents/EnvironmentalAssessment.pdf) completed by parents at the time of enrollment in the study. Cases included children diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome with at least two silent T2 bright lesions on MRI, recruited within 4 years of disease onset from 16 pediatric MS clinics in the USA. Multivariate analyses using logistic regression were adjusted for possible confounders including age, sex, race, ethnicity, mother's highest level of education, and urban versus rural living.

Results:

Questionnaire responses to household chemicals were available for 312 eligible cases (median age 15.7 years, 63% girls) and 490 healthy controls (median age 15.0, 57% girls). Exposure to rodenticides (odds ratio [OR] 2.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35-3.26, P ≤ 0.001), weed control agents (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.36-2.92, P ≤ 0.001) and products for plant/tree disease control (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.54-4.82, P ≤ 0.001) anytime during childhood were associated with an increased risk for pediatric-onset MS in adjusted and multiple comparisons analyses.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that exposure to specific household chemicals during early childhood is associated with the risk of developing pediatric-onset MS. Future studies are needed to elucidate a causal relationship and the exact agents involved.

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