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Air pollution is a possible risk factor for MS

Air pollution could be a risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). An Italian study in the province of Pavia –one of the most polluted areas in Europe– found a relationship between MS risk and high concentrations of the fine pollutant particulate matter PM2.5 in the air [1].

MS is associated with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. Some environmental factors have been extensively studied, including vitamin D levels and smoking, but not air pollution. Airborne PM is a complex mixture of solids and aerosols. PM10 includes particles with a diameter of 10 μm or less, PM2.5 have a diameter of 2.5 μm or less that can penetrate even further into the lungs.

The researchers identified 927 MS patients resident in the province of Pavia (547,251 inhabitants) in Lombardy, Italy. They gathered spatial emission data for PM2.5 concentrations in winter, when PM concentrations peak. Municipalities were stratified into 3 groups by tertil...



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