Study: Weight and MS Related for Children, Teenage Girls

Posted at: 01/31/2013 8:52 AM
By: Jennie Olson

A new study finds that obese children and teenage girls may be at an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Researchers with Kaiser Permanente found that overweight girls were 1.5 times more likely to develop MS. The risk was two times greater for girls who were moderately obese and four times greater for girls who were morbidly obese.

"Fat increases the inflammation in the body, and multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune condition where the immune system is set too high,” says Dr. Mary Rensel of the Cleveland Clinic. “So, if there's too much inflammation, it can increase the risk of having a disorder that is associated with inflammation; MS is one of those."

Rensel said the higher risk for teenager girls may be related to changing hormone levels affecting weight.