Association between diurnal temperature range and emergency department visits for multiple sclerosis: A time-stratified case-crossover study

Seonjeong Byun, Woojae Myung, Ho Kim, Hyewon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although multiple sclerosis (MS) has been the leading cause of neurologically-induced disability in young adults, risk factors for the relapse and acute aggravation of MS remain unclear. A few studies have suggested a possible role of temperature changes on the relapse and acute aggravation of MS. We investigated the association between short-term exposure to wide diurnal temperature ranges (DTRs) and acute exacerbation of MS requiring an emergency department (ED) visit. A total of 1265 patients visited EDs for acute aggravation of MS as the primary disease in Seoul between 2008 and 2014 from the national emergency database. We conducted a conditional logistic regression analysis of the time-stratified case-crossover design to compare DTRs on the ED visit days for MS and those on control days matched according to the day of the week, month, and year. We examined possible associations with other temperature-related variables (ambient temperature, between-day temperature change, and sunlight hours). Short-term exposure to wide DTRs immediately increased the risk of ED visits for MS. Especially, 2-day average (lag0–1) DTR levels on the day of and one day prior to ED visits exhibited the strongest association (an 8.81% [95% CI: 3.46%–14.44%] change in the odds ratio per 1 °C increase in the DTR). Other temperature-related variables were not associated with MS aggravation. Our results suggest that exposure to wider DTR may increase the risk of acute exacerbation of MS. Given the increasing societal burden of MS and the increasing temperature variability due to climate change, further studies are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137565
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume720
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Case-crossover analysis
  • Diurnal temperature range
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Temperature variability

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