Sun exposure and pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis

Takeaway

  • There is an association between low sun exposure in children and increased risk of pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS). If the association is causal, increased time outdoors could be protective against MS.

Why this matters

  • Between 3 and 5% of people with MS experience disease onset in childhood.

  • The etiology of MS is complex and believed to be a combination of genetic, infectious, and other environmental and behavioral risk factors.

  • Sun exposure, ultraviolet radiation (UVR), and vitamin D status are all well-known risk factors for adult-onset MS. However, there is limited data exploring how sun exposure in children affects risk of pediatric-onset MS.