Association of the global distribution of multiple sclerosis with ultraviolet radiation and air pollution: an ecological study based on GBD data

Vahid Kazemi Moghadam, Aisha S. Dickerson, Fateme Shahedi, Edris Bazrafshan, Seyedeh Nahid Seyedhasani, Mohammad Sarmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Given the growing global trend of multiple sclerosis (MS), this study was designed to evaluate environmental determinates of the worldwide distribution of MS in the presence of socioeconomic and geographic indices. MS data was obtained from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation website. The air pollution parameters, including particles with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), tropospheric ozone, and solid fuel use, were acquired from global burden of disease resources and the World Health Organization. Ultraviolet index (UVI) values were obtained from the Tropospheric Emission Monitoring Internet Service website. Correlation and linear regression analyses were used to investigate the relationship between air pollution and environmental parameters with MS variables. The average prevalence and incidence rates in countries with high UVI were 5.17 and 0.25 per 100,000, respectively, and in countries with low UVI were 101.37 and 0.78, respectively. The results showed negative associations between prevalence, incidence and mortality of MS with ozone concentrations (β = − 1.04, − 0.04, and − 0.01 respectively; P < 0.01). Also, the fully adjusted model showed significant negative correlation of UVI with the MS variables in the presence of other variables (P < 0.01). Our findings demonstrated that UVI had the strongest significant inverse association with MS distribution. Consequently, vitamin D intake may be a major contributor to MS development. However, this study showed a slight influence of air pollution on the prevalence of MS in the presence of other parameters. Given the inconsistent results of previous studies, further studies may be required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17802-17811
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • PM
  • Socioeconomic factor
  • Solid fuel
  • Tropospheric ozone
  • Ultraviolet index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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