Mult Scler January 18, 2013 1352458512472752
Jonatan Salzer 1 ; Göran Hallmans 2; Maria Nyström 1; Hans Stenlund 2; Göran Wadell 3; Peter Sundström 1
1 Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Neurology at Umeå University, Sweden
2 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden
3 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University, Sweden
Jonatan Salzer, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Neurology at Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden. Email: jonatan.salzer at neuro.umu.se
Background: Vitamin A is important for the immune system, and might suppress inflammatory activity in multiple sclerosis (MS).
Objectives: We aimed to examine if vitamin A levels were associated with MS risk in samples collected prospectively and during gestation.
Methods: We measured Retinol Binding Protein (RBP – a surrogate marker for vitamin A) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels, in (1) prospectively collected biobank blood samples from MS cases and controls, and (2) gestational samples where the offspring had later developed MS, and gestational control samples. The risk of MS was calculated using matched multivariable logistic regression adjusted for confounders.
Results: In prospective samples, RBP levels within the second quintile (vs. the first) were associated with a lower MS risk (OR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.19–0.74). No effect on MS risk in the offspring by gestational RBP levels was found. In young subjects hs-CRP levels ≥10 mg/l in prospective samples were associated with a lower MS risk (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.14–0.95).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that sub-optimal vitamin A levels may be associated with MS risk. The association between hs-CRP levels and MS risk in young subjects may support the role of the hygiene hypothesis in MS aetiology.
Received October 30, 2012.; Revision November 23, 2012; Accepted December 1, 2012.
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