Background: Previous investigations into multiple sclerosis (MS) risk factors predominantly relied on retrospective studies, which do not consider different follow-up times and assume a constant risk effect throughout lifetime. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the impact of genetic and early life factors on MS diagnosis by employing a time-to-event analysis in a prospective cohort. Methods: We used the UK Biobank data, considering the observation period from birth up to 31 December 2022. We considered genetic risk, using a multiple sclerosis polygenic risk score (MS-PRS), and various early life factors. Tobacco smoking and infectious mononucleosis diagnosis were also considered as time-varying variables along the follow-up. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, we examined the associations between these factors and MS diagnosis instantaneous risk. Results: We analyzed 345,027 participants, of which 1669 had an MS diagnosis. Our analysis revealed age-dependent effects for sex (females vs males) and higher MS-PRS, with greater hazard ratios observed in young adults. Conclusion: The age-dependent effects suggest that retrospective studies could have underestimated sex and genetic variants' risk roles during younger ages. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of a time-to-event approach using longitudinal data to better characterize age-dependent risk effects.

Genetic and early life factors influence on time-to-multiple sclerosis diagnosis: A UK Biobank study

Nova, Andrea
;
Di Caprio, Giovanni;Bernardinelli, Luisa;Fazia, Teresa
2024-01-01

Abstract

Background: Previous investigations into multiple sclerosis (MS) risk factors predominantly relied on retrospective studies, which do not consider different follow-up times and assume a constant risk effect throughout lifetime. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the impact of genetic and early life factors on MS diagnosis by employing a time-to-event analysis in a prospective cohort. Methods: We used the UK Biobank data, considering the observation period from birth up to 31 December 2022. We considered genetic risk, using a multiple sclerosis polygenic risk score (MS-PRS), and various early life factors. Tobacco smoking and infectious mononucleosis diagnosis were also considered as time-varying variables along the follow-up. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, we examined the associations between these factors and MS diagnosis instantaneous risk. Results: We analyzed 345,027 participants, of which 1669 had an MS diagnosis. Our analysis revealed age-dependent effects for sex (females vs males) and higher MS-PRS, with greater hazard ratios observed in young adults. Conclusion: The age-dependent effects suggest that retrospective studies could have underestimated sex and genetic variants' risk roles during younger ages. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of a time-to-event approach using longitudinal data to better characterize age-dependent risk effects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1499675
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