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Loss of a child and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3649-2639
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
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2008 (English)In: American Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0002-9262, E-ISSN 1476-6256, Vol. 167, no 2, 203-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Between 1987 and 2005, the authors conducted a case-control study nested within the entire Swedish population to investigate whether loss of a child due to death is associated with the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The study comprised 2,694 incident ALS cases and five controls per case individually matched by year of birth, gender, and parity. Odds ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals for ALS were estimated by using conditional logistic regression models. Compared with that for parents who never lost a child, the overall odds ratio of ALS for bereaved parents was 0.7 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.6, 0.8) and decreased to 0.4 (95% CI: 0.2, 0.8) 11-15 years after the loss. The risk reduction was also modified by parental age at the time of loss, with the lowest odds ratio of 0.4 (95% CI: 0.2, 0.9) for parents older than age 75 years. Loss of a child due to malignancy appeared to confer a lower risk of ALS (odds ratio = 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3, 0.8) than loss due to other causes. These data indicate that the risk of developing ALS decreases following the severe stress of parental bereavement. Further studies are needed to explore potential underlying mechanisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cary, USA: Oxford University Press, 2008. Vol. 167, no 2, 203-10 p.
Keyword [en]
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; etiology; stress
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-41469DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwm289ISI: 000252498200010PubMedID: 17947219Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-38349097057OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-41469DiVA: diva2:811692
Available from: 2015-05-12 Created: 2015-01-14 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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