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Aug 12, 2014 12:01 PM EDT

Researchers Find No Link between Vitamin D Levels in Newborns and Multiple Sclerosis

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Researchers at Sweden's medical school, Karolinska Institutet, found no link between Vitamin D levels in newborns and the risk of developing multiple sclerosis during adulthood.

Previous studies have showed an association between low vitamin D levels in newborn babies and the risk of developing MS in adulthood. The researchers in these studies said that babies born in spring face a heightened risk of the disease when compared to those born in autumn. They claimed that low vitamin D levels resulting from limited sun exposure during pregnancy increase the risk of MS in children born after the winter.

For the study, the researchers compared Vitamin D levels at the birth of 459 MS sufferers and compared with those of 663 healthy control participants. The participants were collected from the EIMS project led by the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with neurology departments at hospitals in all Swedish counties. Each patient diagnosed with MS were asked to provide a blood sample and complete a questionnaire.

"We could not see any association between levels of vitamin D at birth and risk of MS in adulthood," said Peter Ueda, researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and one of the researcher in a statement. "However a weaker link cannot be ruled out, nor can the link be ruled out for people with certain genes."

The researchers said that the lack of a link between vitamin D levels in newborns and the risk for MS remained even when certain factors that could affect the results were considered including month of birth, geographical latitude of birth, sun exposure and vitamin D consumption in adult age.

The finding is published in the journal Annals of Neurology.

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