Allergy and multiple sclerosis: A population-based case-control study

Rosetta Pedotti, M. Farinotti, C. Falcone, L. Borgonovo, P. Confalonieri, A. Campanella, R. Mantegazza, E. Pastorello, G. Filippini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epidemiological studies on the association between allergic disorders, T-helper type 2 (Th2) mediated, and multiple sclerosis (MS), a T-helper type 1 (Th1)/Th17-mediated disease, provided conflicting results. Objective: The aim of this study was to further examine the association between allergic disorders and MS. Methods: The association between MS and previous medical history of any type of allergy has been investigated in a population-based case-control study conducted in Northern Italy, based on telephone interviews to 423 cases and 643 population controls (refusal rates 3.7% and 9.4%, respectively). Controls were a random sample of the general population. Results: A history of atopic allergies seems to confer protection against MS (odds ratio [OR], 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38-0.89; P = 0.012). In particular, the prevalence of allergic asthma was 4.9% in people with MS and 12% in control subjects (OR = 0.38; 95% CI 0.22-0.66, P <0.01). No association was found between MS and nonatopic allergies. Conclusions: Our findings are confirmatory of the putative protective effect of Th2-mediated disorders on Th1 immune responses associated with MS. A unifying theory on the mechanisms by which previous history of atopic allergies may modify the risk of MS is still lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-906
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Allergy
  • Atopy
  • Case-control study
  • Immunology
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Allergy and multiple sclerosis: A population-based case-control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this