(HealthDay News) – There is an inverse association between levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), but no association between gestational levels of 25(OH)D and offspring risk of MS, according to a study published in the Nov. 20 issue of Neurology.

Jonatan Salzer, MD, from Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues examined the correlation between vitamin D levels and MS risk using data from a nested case-control study involving two population-based biobanks with 291,500 samples from 164,000 individuals collected since 1975. Blood samples were identified from MS cases (192, with controls matched in a 2:1 ratio) and gestational samples were collected from pregnant women whose offspring later developed MS (37, matched with control mothers in a 5:1 ratio).

The researchers found that levels of 25(OH)D ≥75nmol/L correlated with a significantly decreased risk of MS compared with levels <75nmol/L (odds ratio, 0.39). Offspring exposed to gestational 25(OH)D levels of ≥75nmol/L vs. <75nmol/L had no significantly decreased risk of MS (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.53–5.8). During 1976–2005, the prevalence of 25(OH)D ≥75nmol/L gradually decreased in controls.

“This study gives further support for the association between vitamin D status and MS,” the authors write. “Our data suggest that vitamin D may act as a protective factor for MS somewhere between late pregnancy and young adulthood.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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