Vitamin D status does not affect disability progression of patients with multiple sclerosis over three year follow-up

Anne Hilde Muris, Joost Smolders, Linda Rolf, Lieke J.J. Klinkenberg, Noreen Van Der Linden, Steven Meex, Jan Damoiseaux, Raymond Hupperts

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Background and Objective: The risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as MS disease activity is associated with vitamin D (25(OH)D) status. The relationship between the main functional disability hallmark of MS, disability progression, and 25(OH)D status is less well established though, especially not in MS patients with progressive disease. Methods: This retrospective follow-up study included 554 MS patients with a serum baseline 25(OH) D level and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) with a minimum follow-up of three years. Logistic regressions were performed to assess the effect of baseline 25(OH)D status on relapse rate. Repeated measures linear regression analyses were performed to assess the effect on disability and disability progression. Results: Baseline deseasonalized 25(OH)D status was associated with subsequent relapse risk (yes/no), but only in the younger MS patients (≤37.5 years; OR = 0.872, per 10 nmol/L 25 (OH)D, p = 0.041). Baseline 25(OH)D status was not significantly associated with either disability or disability progression, irrespective of MS phenotype. Conclusion: Within the physiological range, 25(OH)D status is just significantly associated with the occurrence of relapses in younger MS patients, but is not associated with disability or disability progression over three years follow-up. Whether high dose supplementation to supra physiological 25(OH)D levels prevents disability progression in MS should become clear from long term follow-up of supplementation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0156122
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding for this study was provided by the
Nationaal MS Fonds "Vitamine D en progressie MS"
onderzoek). The funders had no role in study design,
data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or
preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Muris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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