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Age at Menarche and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: A Prospective Cohort Study Based on the Danish National Birth Cohort

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DOI

  • Nete Munk Nielsen, Statens Serum Inst, Dept Epidemiol Res, Ctr Infect Dis Epidemiol
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  • Maria Harpsoe, Statens Serum Inst, Dept Epidemiol Res, Ctr Infect Dis Epidemiol
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  • Jacob Simonsen, Statens Serum Inst, Dept Epidemiol Res, Ctr Infect Dis Epidemiol
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  • Egon Stenager, Univ Southern Denmark, University of Southern Denmark, Natl Inst Publ Hlth
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  • Melinda Magyari, Rigshosp, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Univ Hosp, Dept Neurol, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Ctr
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  • Nils Koch-Henriksen
  • Jennifer L. Baker, Univ Copenhagen, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Nordisk, University of Copenhagen, Fac Hlth & Med Sci, Sect Metab Genet, Novo Nordisk Fdn,Ctr Basic Metab Res
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  • Henrik Hjalgrim, Statens Serum Inst, Dept Epidemiol Res, Ctr Infect Dis Epidemiol
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  • Morten Frisch, Statens Serum Inst, Dept Epidemiol Res, Ctr Infect Dis Epidemiol
  • ,
  • Peter Bager, Statens Serum Inst, Dept Epidemiol Res, Ctr Infect Dis Epidemiol

Few studies have addressed the possible association between age at menarche and multiple sclerosis ( MS), and results are conflicting. We studied this issue in a large prospective cohort study. The study cohort comprised 77,330 women included in the Danish National Birth Cohort (1996-2002). Information on menarcheal age was ascertained at the first interview, which took place in the 16th week of pregnancy. Women were followed for MS from the first interview to December 31, 2011. Associations between age at menarche and risk of MS were evaluated with hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals using Cox proportional hazards regression models. Overall, 226 women developed MS during an average follow-up period of 11.7 years. Age at menarche among women with MS was generally lower than that among women without MS (Wilcoxon rank-sum test; P = 0.002). We observed an inverse association between age at menarche and MS risk. For each 1-year increase in age at menarche, risk of MS was reduced by 13% ( hazard ratio = 0.87, 95% confidence interval: 0.79, 0.96). Early age at menarche appears to be associated with an increased risk of MS. The mechanisms behind this association remain to be established.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume185
Issue8
Pages (from-to)712-719
Number of pages8
ISSN0002-9262
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017

    Research areas

  • cohort studies, Danish National Birth Cohort, menarcheal age, multiple sclerosis, INCREASING INCIDENCE, ALL-CAUSE, WOMEN, CHILDHOOD, PREGNANCY, PUBERTY, CHILDREN, METAANALYSIS, ADOLESCENCE, REGISTER

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