Confounding in association studies: month of birth and multiple sclerosis
J Neurol, DOI 10.1007/s00415-014-7241-y
Barnaby Fiddes, • James Wason, • Stephen Sawcer
Received: 11 December 2013/Accepted: 2 January 2014
Association studies form the backbone of biomedical research, with almost every effort in the field ultimately boiling down to a comparison between groups, coupled with some form of statistical test intended to determine whether or not any observed difference is more or less than would be expected by chance. Unfortunately, although the paradigm is powerful and frequently effective, it is often forgotten that false positive association can easily arise if there is any bias or systematic difference in the way in which study subjects are selected into the considered groups. To protect against such confounding, researchers generally try to match cases and controls for extraneous variables thought to correlate with the exposures of interest. However, if seemingly homogenously distributed exposures are actually more heterogeneous than appreciated, then matching may be inadequate and false positive results can still arise. In this review, we will illustrate these fundamental issues by considering the previously proposed relationship between month of birth and multiple sclerosis. This much discussed but false positive association serves as a reminder of just how heterogeneous even easily measured environmental risk factors can be, and how easily case
Birth rate varies with season
PDF is attached at the bottom of this page
See also VitaminDWiki
- Season of Birth category listing has 14 items along with related searches
- Health problems are related to birth month - June 2015
- Season of birth associated with pneumonia (10 pcnt) and multiple sclerosis (30 pcnt) – May 2013
- Overview MS and vitamin D contains the following summary
Clinical interventions have shown that Vitamin D can prevent, treat, and even cure Multiple Sclerosis, at a tiny fraction of the cost of the drugs now used to treat it, and without side effects.
- Fact: Low Vitamin D results in higher risk of getting MS
Dark skinned people are far more likely to get MS (dark skin people typically have low vitamin D)
Elderly (who typically have low vitamin D) are more likely to get MS
Is there increased risk in people who already have diseases associated with low vitamin D - TB, for example ? ? ?
Women typically have 3X increased MS risk then men (note: women typically have 20% lower levels of vitamin D than men)
Exception: women in very sunny climates and dark-skinned women have the same MS risk as men
Obese are 60% more likely to get MS
Smokers - smokers have lower level of vitamin D and have higher incidence of MS (also, smokers are difficult to cure of MS in Brazil)
MS recurrence is much higher in spring - the lowest time of the year for vitamin D
increase in clouds/rainfall (which reduces available Vitamin D) is associated with increased risk of MS (Scotland, Western Washington)
MS incidence has increased 70% in a decade while the incidence of vitamin D deficiency doubled
Less MS in those with outdoor occupations PDF file, not a web page
- Fact: MS uses up Vitamin D
- Fact: Lower vitamin D (due to MS using up Vitamin D while fighting the disease) results in many other health problems (such as broken bones), so depleted vitamin D levels must be restored.
- Fact: Vitamin D looks so promising for preventing and treating MS that there were 25 INTERVENTION clinical trials as of Feb 2014
- Fact: Vitamin D reduced the MS relapse rate far better than Fingolimod which is now used for that purpose.
- Note: Fingolimod costs $25,000/year while vitamin D, which works better and has no site effects is 1000 times less expensive.
- Fact: 98% of the genes affected by Interferon are also affected by Vitamin D
- Note: 1 week of Interferon = $4,700, 1 week of vitamin D 10,000X lower cost
- Fact: MS Doctors in Brazil recommending 40-100 ng/mL of Vitamin D
- Fact: Many MS forums are recommending vitamin D to treat MS, with some taking 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily
Observation: Risk of going from pre-MS to MS reduced 68 percent with 7100 IU vitamin D – RCT Dec 2012
- This is an observation instead of a fact - it has not yet been confirmed.
- Fact: VERY LARGE doses of vitamin D have CURED 2,000 people of MS in Brazil
- Controversy: UVB fron sunlight or UVB bulb may be BETTER than Vitamin D for reducing the risk of getting MS
- Hypothesis: In addition to Vitamin D there are many other photoproducts produced by UVB that may promote health.
Summary: lack of consensus on how much to prevent, treat, or cure MS
- How much Vitamin D to prevent many diseases - such as MS
- How much Vitamin D is needed to treat MS? There is currently no agreement
The recommendations range from 40 to 100 ng - which can result of a dose ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 IU/day
- How Vitamin D is needed to Cure MS?: It appears that 20,000-140,000 IU daily may be needed to CURE the disease
You must be under the supervision of a doctor who knows what to watch for in your individual situation.
High doses of Vitamin D cannot be used as a monotherapy.
You will need to adjust the cofactors: Typically increasing Magnesium and Vitamin K2, and reducing Calcium intake.
Your doctor will monitor these and might increase your intake of Vitamins B2, C, as well as Omega-3