Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Andrew DeWan

Second Advisor

Daniel Pelletier


The field of multiple sclerosis (MS) is in need of a consistent method of measuring smoking to examine its role in disease risk and severity. A pilot study was conducted to examine the association between smoking and disease risk in MS cases (n=26) and controls (n=26). Disease severity within MS patients was assessed through clinical and radiological outcomes. These measures were confirmed within a larger dataset of MS patients (n=512) that additionally contained genotyping information. There were no significant differences in disease risk or severity in the pilot study. Within the larger dataset, clinical score trended toward significance (p=0.13). Stratification based on HLA DRB1*1501 status showed that MS smokers with the HLA DRB1*1501 allele had 2.86 greater odds of having more severe clinical disease than nonsmokers with the genotype (1.41, 5.80; p=0.003). To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine smoking and MS disease severity while controlling for genotype.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access