Friday, 21 March 2014

No latitude effect in Norway

Berg-Hansen P, Moen S, Harbo H, Celius E. High prevalence and no latitude gradient of multiple sclerosis in Norway. Mult Scler. 2014 Mar. [Epub ahead of print]

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) is increasing, and the presence of a latitude gradient for MS risk is still discussed. We present the first nationwide prevalence estimates for Norway, spanning the latitudes from 58-71 degrees North, in order to identify a possible latitude gradient. Information from the Oslo MS Registry and the Norwegian MS Registry and Biobank was combined with data from the Norwegian Patient Registry, the Norwegian Prescription Database and Statistics Norway. We estimated a crude prevalence of 203/100,000 on 1 January 2012. The prevalence in the Northern and Southern regions were not significantly different. MS prevalence in Norway is among the highest reported worldwide. We found no evidence of a latitude gradient.

It has been found in some places that distance from the equator can influence the risk of developing MS. In Norway this was not found.  One reason for this may be supplementation of vitamin D with a fish diet.

1 comment:

  1. Another reason may be that the sun angle, even in the summer, is too low for sufficient UVB to get through the atmosphere for vit D production to influence MS prevalence . The sun gets higher than 50 degrees (above the horizon) in Orkney for only about a month either side of the summer solstice. Most of Norway is further north (further from the equator) than all but the very south of Norway.


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