UK study finds no protective benefits of alcohol against MS
Some previous studies have suggested that alcohol consumption may be linked with a lower risk of MS, while others have not found a connection.
In this latest analysis, data from 409,228 people aged between 40 and 69 who were enrolled in the UK Biobank was used. Of these, 2,100 were diagnosed with MS, and 72.3% were female.
Participants reported alcohol consumption for the past year at time of enrolment. After researchers adjusted for age and sex, no link was found between alcohol abstention and MS status, so the team concluded there was “no evidence for an association between alcohol consumption and MS risk,” the team concluded.”
The relationship between alcohol and the known risk factors was explored, including smoking, body weight, and socioeconomic deprivation. Never-drinkers tended to score higher in deprivation, and there was no association found with body size age 10. Never-drinkers were also more likely to have never smoked. After the researchers adjusted for these things, there was no significant correlation between never drinking alcohol and risk of MS.
The researchers said further research into population-based studies and more diverse cohorts is needed to know whether the relationship between alcohol and MS is causal or has been seen in some studies due to biases such as population characteristics, for example.