Teen obesity increases multiple sclerosis risk in females

17:16, November 11, 2009      

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Obesity has its negative healthy effect, but there appears another reason for weight control as teen obesity may enhance the possibility of multiple sclerosis (MS), said a study in Tuesday's issue of Neurology.

In the study, Harvard researchers found that teen obesity doubles a woman's risk of developing MS later in life if she is fat at age 18, compared to her slimmer peers.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society thinks that MS is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system. The definite cause of the disease is not clear yet, but scientists believe it's an autoimmune disease.

The current study included more than 238,000 women aging from 25 and 55 years old at the start of the study.

Women who were obese at age 18 had a 2.25 times greater risk of developing MS, according to the study.

About the reason behind the increase of risk, Dr. John Richert, executive vice president of research and clinical programs at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said : "Up until recently, we've looked at MS as a disease for which the onset can't be controlled," yet "not smoking and maintaining an ideal weight might lower the risk of MS."

Source: Xinhuanet/Agencies
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