Print version ISSN 0213-9111
GUERRERO-ALONSO, Paula; PRIETO-SALCEDA, Dolores and LLORCA, Javier. Meteorological variables do not explain the North-South gradient in mortality from multiple sclerosis in Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.4, pp. 329-333. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112007000400011.
Objectives: To determine whether weather conditions explain the North-South gradient in multiple sclerosis (MS) mortality described in Spain. Methods: The age-adjusted MS mortality rate by Spanish provinces from 1975 to 1998 was correlated with several climatic variables. Results: MS mortality was negatively correlated with minimum, average and maximum temperatures, the mean number of hours of sunshine, and the mean number of sunny days. A positive correlation was found with the average amount of rain. Most correlations disappeared after adjusting by latitude. However, MS mortality was associated with latitude after adjusting by climatic factors. Conclusions: The North-South gradient in MS mortality in Spain cannot be fully explained by weather differences. Therefore, other hypotheses are required to explain this association.
Keywords : Multiple sclerosis; Mortality; weather; Epidemiologic methods; Latitude.