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Publication Detail
Associations of Alcohol Consumption and Smoking With Disease Risk and Neurodegeneration in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis in the United Kingdom
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Kleerekooper I, Chua S, Foster PJ, Trip SA, Plant GT, Petzold A, Patel P, UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium
  • Publisher:
    American Medical Association (AMA)
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Jama Network Open
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Article number:
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium
  • Notes:
    This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License
IMPORTANCE: Understanding the effects of modifiable risk factors on risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) and associated neurodegeneration is important to guide clinical counseling. OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations of alcohol use, smoking, and obesity with odds of MS diagnosis and macular ganglion cell layer and inner plexiform layer (mGCIPL) thickness. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study analyzed data from the community-based UK Biobank study on health behaviors and retinal thickness (measured by optical coherence tomography in both eyes) in individuals aged 40 to 69 years examined from December 1, 2009, to December 31, 2010. Risk factors were identified with multivariable logistic regression analyses. To adjust for intereye correlations, multivariable generalized estimating equations were used to explore associations of alcohol use and smoking with mGCIPL thickness. Finally, interaction models explored whether the correlations of alcohol and smoking with mGCIPL thickness differed for individuals with MS. Data were analyzed from February 1 to July 1, 2021. EXPOSURES: Smoking status (never, previous, or current), alcohol intake (never or special occasions only [low], once per month to ≤4 times per week [moderate], or daily/almost daily [high]), and body mass index. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Multiple sclerosis case status and mGCIPL thickness. RESULTS: A total of 71 981 individuals (38 685 women [53.7%] and 33 296 men [46.3%]; mean [SD] age, 56.7 [8.0] years) were included in the analysis (20 065 healthy control individuals, 51 737 control individuals with comorbidities, and 179 individuals with MS). Modifiable risk factors significantly associated with MS case status were current smoking (odds ratio [OR], 3.05 [95% CI, 1.95-4.64]), moderate alcohol intake (OR, 0.62 [95% CI, 0.43-0.91]), and obesity (OR, 1.72 [95% CI, 1.15-2.56]) compared with healthy control individuals. Compared with the control individuals with comorbidities, only smoking was associated with case status (OR, 2.30 [95% CI, 1.48-3.51]). High alcohol intake was associated with a thinner mGCIPL in individuals with MS (adjusted β = −3.09 [95% CI, −5.70 to −0.48] μm; P = .02). In the alcohol interaction model, high alcohol intake was associated with thinner mGCIPL in control individuals (β = −0.93 [95% CI, −1.07 to −0.79] μm; P < .001), but there was no statistically significant association in individuals with MS (β = −2.27 [95% CI, −4.76 to 0.22] μm; P = .07). Smoking was not associated with mGCIPL thickness in MS. However, smoking was associated with greater mGCIPL thickness in control individuals (β = 0.89 [95% CI, 0.74-1.05 μm]; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings suggest that high alcohol intake was associated with retinal features indicative of more severe neurodegeneration, whereas smoking was associated with higher odds of being diagnosed with MS.
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