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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 685-697; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030685

Short and Long Term Variation in Ultraviolet Radiation and Multiple Sclerosis

1,†,* , 2
Jr. 2
1 Department of Applied Health Sciences, University of Pavia, Via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia, Italy 2 Psybernetics Research Group, 04330 Augusta, Maine, USA 3 The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry, National Institute of Public Health, 1353 Copenhagen, Denmark 4 Neurological Institute Casimiro Mondino, Interdepartment Research Center for Multiple Sclerosis, 27100 Pavia, Italy 5 Department of Neuro-Rehabilitation, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, 20100 Milan, Italy 6 Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, University of Cambridge, CB3 0WA Cambridge, UK 7 Institute of Regional Health Services, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense, Denmark 8 MS-Clinic of Southern Jutland (Sonderborg, Vejle, Esbjerg), Department of Neurology, 6400 Sonderborg, Denmark Present Address: Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH London, UK.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 16 February 2012 / Accepted: 16 February 2012 / Published: 24 February 2012
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We examined the role of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in persons diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in four different populations, Italians, Danish, White and African Americans. We tested whether variation in UVR as determined by seasons (short term variation) and solar cycles (long term variation) is related to MS birth month and to survival as measured by lifespan. Cases were selected from three Italian MS Case Registries (2,737); from the United States National Center for Health Statistics (56,020); and from the Danish Multiple Sclerosis registry (15,900). Chi-square tests were used to study the pattern of month of birth distribution in patients with MS comparing with general population data. T-tests were employed to study solar cycles association with lifespan. A surplus of births was observed in June for White Americans. A decrease of births in October and November, though not significant after multiple testing correction, was observed in the three populations. In White American with MS overall, males and females, we found that solar cycle is associated with lifespan. We found that season and solar cycles have some role in MS susceptibility and life duration. However, this is an exploratory analysis and further work is needed to discern the association.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis; seasonality; solar cycles; variation in ultraviolet radiation multiple sclerosis; seasonality; solar cycles; variation in ultraviolet radiation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Menni, C.; Lowell, W.E.; Bentzen, J.; Bergamaschi, R.; Martinelli Boneschi, F.; Martinelli, V.; Bernardinelli, L.; Stenager, E.; Davis, G.E., Jr.; Foco, L. Short and Long Term Variation in Ultraviolet Radiation and Multiple Sclerosis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 685-697.

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