Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk: study [View all]
Obese children, adolescent girls in particular, are more likely to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis than normal-weight youth — with extreme obesity tied to a three- to four-fold higher risk of MS.
The study did not prove that carrying around some extra eight in childhood causes multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease in which the protective coating around nerve fibers breaks down, slowing signals traveling between the brain and the body, said researchers whose work appeared in the journal Neurology.
But it does suggest that rising levels of obesity in young people could mean more MS diagnoses than in the past, according to lead study author Annette Langer-Gould from Kaiser Permanente of Southern California and her colleagues.
“Our findings suggest the childhood obesity epidemic is likely to lead to increased morbidity from MS/CIS, particularly in adolescent girls,” Langer-Gould and her colleagues wrote.