March 8, 2012
Past Pregnancies Linked To Reduced MS Risk In Women
Women who have multiple pregnancies may have a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research published in the March 7, 2012, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
"In our study, the risk went down with each pregnancy and the benefit was permanent," said study author Anne-Louise Ponsonby, PhD, of Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
The study found that women who were pregnant two or more times had a quarter of the risk of developing MS symptoms and women who had five or more pregnancies had one-twentieth the risk of developing symptoms than women who were never pregnant. There was no association between the amount of children and risk of MS symptoms in men.
"The rate of MS cases has been increasing in women over the last few decades, and our research suggests that this may be due to mothers having children later in life and having fewer children than they have in past years," said Ponsonby.
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