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Ramirez, Ruby Marie V.

BSN IV 4

Obesity May Increase Risk of Multiple Sclerosis in Children and Teens


Jan. 30, 2013 Being obese may increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) in children and teenage girls, according to new research published in the January 30, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "Over the last 30 years, childhood obesity has tripled," said study author Annette Langer-Gould, MD, PhD, with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "In our study, the risk of pediatric MS was highest among moderately and extremely obese teenage girls, suggesting that the rate of pediatric MS cases is likely to increase as the childhood obesity epidemic continues." For the study, researchers identified 75 children and adolescents diagnosed with pediatric MS between the ages of 2 and 18. Body mass index (BMI) from before symptoms appeared was obtained. The children with MS were compared to 913,097 children who did not have MS. All participants were grouped into weight classes of normal weight, overweight, moderate obesity and extreme obesity. A total of 50.6 percent of the children with MS were overweight or obese, compared to 36.6 percent of the children who did not have MS. The study found that the risk of developing MS was more than one and a half times higher for overweight girls than girls who were not overweight, nearly 1.8 times higher in moderately obese girls compared to girls of normal weight and nearly four times higher in extremely obese girls. The same association was not found in boys. "Even though pediatric MS remains rare, our study suggests that parents or caregivers of obese teenagers should pay attention to symptoms such as tingling and numbness or limb weakness, and bring them to a doctor's attention," said Langer-Gould. The study was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, and Kaiser Permanente Direct Community Benefit Funds.

Summary: Obese girls are at greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis or MS-like illness, according to a new study published in the online journal Neurology. Researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) data from more than 900,000 children from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children's health study. Seventy-five of those children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 18 were diagnosed with pediatric MS. More than 50% of them were overweight or obese, and the majorities were girls. According to the study, the MS risk was more than one and a half times higher for overweight girls, almost two times higher in moderately obese girls and almost four times higher in extremely obese girls. Reaction: Multiple sclerosis also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata, is an inflammatory disease in which myelin sheaths around axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to loss of myelin and scarring. The cause is not clear, but the underlying mechanism is thought to be either destruction by the immune system or failure of the myelin-producing cells. These changes affect the ability of nerve cells to communicate resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms. It is more common in women and the onset typically occurs in young adults. The disease usually begins between the ages of 20 and 50, being twice as common in women as men. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. In order to prevent multiple sclerosis, you should take medications as prescribed, avoid hot weather, stay in air-conditioned places during periods of hot weather, get adequate rest, get regular, moderate exercise with your doctor's permission and make sure to get enough fiber in your diet. Theory: