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Alcohol consumption in adolescence is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis in a Danish cohort

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Due to the possible existence of a vulnerable period of multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility in adolescence and because Danish teenagers have a high alcohol consumption, we investigated the association between alcohol consumption at ages 15-19 and the risk of developing MS.

METHODS: A total of 1717 patients with MS and 4685 healthy blood donors filled in a comprehensive environmental and lifestyle questionnaire. Data were analysed by logistic regression models and adjusted for selected confounders.

RESULTS: We found an inverse association between alcohol consumption in adolescence and risk of developing MS in both women ( p < 0.001) and men ( p = 0.012). Women with low alcohol consumption had an odds ratio (OR) of 0.56 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.47-0.66) compared with non-drinking women. The ORs were similar for women with moderate (OR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.38-0.62) and high consumption (OR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.38-0.84). Men with low alcohol consumption had an OR of 0.69 (95% CI: 0.53-0.89) compared with non-drinking men but no decreased risk was found for men with moderate and high consumption.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol consumption in adolescence was associated with lower risk of developing MS among both sexes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMultiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
Pages (from-to)1572-1579
ISSN1352-4585
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Adolescence, alcohol, epidemiology, multiple sclerosis

ID: 55401760