Morning Report

Does Vitamin D Influence MS Risk?

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


September 29, 2017

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Multiple Sclerosis

This week's primary care story is about a large study[1] that looks at whether vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk for multiple sclerosis (MS).

Finnish researchers examined the vitamin D levels of over 1000 pregnant women who were later diagnosed with MS and over 2000 comparable women without MS. They found a twofold increased MS risk among vitamin D–deficient women compared with women whose levels were adequate. Each 50-nmol increase in the vitamin D level was associated with a 39% lower risk for MS.

These findings are consistent with past research that supports low vitamin D levels as a risk factor for MS. More research is needed before we can recommend universal vitamin D supplementation. But for your patients with risk factors for MS, like smoking, obesity, or a family history, consider screening for and treating vitamin D deficiency.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD


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