Navigation Links
Smoking May Boost MS Risk in Some
Date:4/7/2010

Those with high levels of Epstein-Barr antibodies double their chances if they smoke, study found

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking appears to enhance the link between an existing risk factor and multiple sclerosis, nearly doubling the chances of getting the disabling neurologic disease, according to a new study.

The existing risk factor is having high levels of antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common herpes virus that infects most people but is associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a small fraction of those who have it. Previous research has found a link between high levels of EBV antibodies and the disease, said the study's lead author, Kelly Claire Simon, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

"Although higher antibody titers to EBV are associated with an increased risk of MS, an individual's absolute risk of MS associated with high antibody titers to EBV is still small," she added.

Even so, she and her research team decided to see whether smoking, which has been linked to increasing the risk of getting MS, would boost the risk even more when a person had high antibody levels of EBV.

The researchers also looked at whether smoking also boosted the risk of MS in those people who have an immune system-related gene called the HLA-DR15, which is also linked to an increased MS risk. The gene, which is present in about 20 percent of the general population, is evident in about 60 percent of MS patients.

For this new study, the researchers wanted to focus on "how these different risk factors may be related to each other and whether they acted together or independently," Simon said. Her study is published in the April 7 online edition of the journal Neurology.

Simon and her colleagues evaluated 442 people with MS and 865 healthy people without the disease who had been participants in three large studies: The Nurses' Health Study I/Nurses' Health Study II, the Tasmanian MS Study and the Swedish MS Study.

"Having the HLA DR15 risk gene did not appear to be affected by smoking or not," Simon said. But higher antibody levels of EBV did affect risk in those who had ever smoked, compared to those who had never smoked.

"The increasing risk of MS associated with higher EBV antibody [levels] was stronger among ever-smokers than never-smokers," Simon said. Among the participants with higher levels of the EBV antibody, smokers were twice as likely to have MS as those who had never smoked.

The association was not seen in those with lower antibody levels, however.

Exactly how the smoking enhances the link between the high antibody levels and MS risk isn't known, the researchers added.

Previous research has found those already diagnosed with MS who smoke are at higher risk for getting the brain lesions associated with the disease, and for brain shrinkage.

Overall, a person's lifetime risk of getting MS is one in 200 for women and one in 600 for men in the United States. Those with the higher antibody levels in the study had up to a twofold increase in risk if they smoked, compared to nonsmokers, the Harvard researchers found.

The new study provides more clues about who gets MS, said Patricia O'Looney, vice president of biomedical research for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who reviewed the findings. "What's unique and novel is, the study looks at three populations," she said, referring to the three large-scale studies from different parts of the world. "They looked at three geographically distinct populations and found the same thing."

While the Harvard team has found a link between EBV levels and MS, O'Looney said that "the association of EBV and MS is still under investigation." But the new research, she added, "looks at two risk factors that have been very prominent."

While the new findings don't yield many practical findings -- except the time-worn advice to never smoke -- it will hopefully help identify risk factors that could trigger the disease and help researchers understand it better, O'Looney added.

More information

For more information about EBV and MS, visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.



SOURCES: Kelly Claire Simon, Sc.D., research associate, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Patricia O'Looney, Ph.D., vice president, biomedical research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York City; April 7, 2010, Neurology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Proof: smoking is dumb
2. New Vaporizer Technologies Revolutionize Smoking
3. Weight Counseling Plus Drug Helps Women Quit Smoking
4. Smoking, but not past alcohol abuse, may impair mental function
5. AcuAids Announces Acupuncture at Home to Stop Smoking, Lose Weight and More
6. New smoking cessation therapy proves promising
7. Smoking significantly increases risk of aneurysm in people with certain genes
8. VIDEO from Medialink and American Lung Association: Dont Quit on Your Resolution to Quit Smoking!
9. Warning: Immigrating to North America may foster smoking in children
10. New intervention helps Latino parents of asthmatic children quit smoking
11. Quitting smoking especially difficult for select groups
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of ... innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support ... your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... AccentCare, a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health ... Home Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Hair Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped ... Dr. Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology ... in Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric ... President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Mich. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... has been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by ... Brightest in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading global digital ... its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. Oz Show ... Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show kicked off ... The segment features ...
(Date:9/25/2017)...  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in the fields ... announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology Inc., a ... cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 in seed ... technologies to the new precision immunotherapy venture. Gad ... as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings over 25 ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As ... by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Kalorama Information notes that the medical device industry is ... the medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on ... Act.  But they also want covered patients, increased visits ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: