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Do Obesity, Birth Control Pills Increase MS Risk?

By staff

3/19/2014

US Pharm. 2014;39(3):49-50.

 

 

The role of the so-called “obesity hormone” leptin and hormones used for birth control in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) is examined in two new studies that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. For the obesity study, BMI was calculated for 210 people with MS and 210 people of the same age and sex who did not have MS at ages 15 and 20 and at the time of the study. People who are obese at age 20 are twice as likely to later develop MS, the study found, as people who are not obese. The study also found that people with higher BMI levels had higher levels of leptin, a hormone made by fat tissue that regulates weight, appetite, and immune response.

“Leptin promotes inflammatory responses in the body, which could potentially explain the link between obesity and MS,” said study author Jorge Correale, MD, of the Raúl Carrera Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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