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A factor-analytical study of the multiple sclerosis mortality in Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

  • Klaus Lauer
Article

Abstract

Age-adjusted multiple sclerosis (MS) mortality rates from two German states (Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg) that had been analyzed previously in comparison with a large number of sociogeographic variables in univariate fashion, were subjected to factor analysis. The pattern of variables associated with MS differed between both states. In Hesse, the MS mortality was associated with a setting (“factor”) reflecting a cold and damp climate related to mountainous regions dominated by coniferous forests on one hand, and with the density of butchers on the other. These findings corroborate earlier univariate correlations elsewhere, and might point to an interaction of the geoclimatic variables described, or associated features, and dietary factors related to meat, in the environmental etiology of MS. In Baden-Wuerttemberg, in contrast, a rather unique spectrum of MS-associated variables was found that could be grouped into 2 independent settings. These represented a) the Swabian Alb highland region; and b) indicators of a higher environmental burden with polyaromatic hydrocarbons associated with a higher rectal cancer mortality. “Mountains”, “forest in thinly populated area”, and agriculture were the only features that showed some association with MS in both states, but their overall agreement with the MS epidemiology in general is much weaker in comparison with the above-mentioned climatic and dietary features.

Keywords

multiple sclerosis epidemiology multiple sclerosis etiology polyaromatic hydrocarbons rectal cancer epidemiology 

Faktorenanalytische Studie zur Multiple-Sklerose-Mortalität in Hessen und Baden-Württemberg

Zusammenfassung

Altersstandardisierte Mortalitätsraten für die multiple Sklerose (MS) aus zwei deutschen Bundesländern (Hessen und Baden-Württemberg), die bereits zuvor auf eine univariate Korrelation mit diversen sozialen und geographischen Variablen hin untersucht worden waren, wurden nunmehr faktorenanalytisch ausgewertet. Dabei unterschied sich das Muster der MS-assoziierten Variablen zwischen beiden Ländern. In Hessen war die MS-Mortalität mit einem Merkmalsbündel assoziiert, das unter der Bezeichnung “kühlfeuchtes Klima in von Nadelwald dominierter Bergregion” zu beschreiben wäre, und, unabhängig davon, mit der Dichte des Fleischerhandwerks. Diese Befunde bestätigen zuvor andernorts beschriebene univariate Korrelationen und könnten auf eine Interaktion zwischen den genannten geoklimatischen Variablen bzw. mit ihnen assoziierten Drittvariablen und Ernährungsfaktoren in der Ätiologie der MS hinweisen. Im Gegensatz hierzu fand sich in Baden-Württemberg ein bislang einzigartiges Muster MS-assoziierter Variabler, das sich faktorenanalytisch in 2 Bündel gruppieren lieβ. Diese repräsentierten zum einen die Schwäbische Alb als fixen geographischen Terminus, zum anderen Indikatoren einer stärkeren Umweltbelastung mit polyaromatischen Kohlenwasserstoffen; letztere waren mit der Rektumkarzinom-Mortalität assoziiert. Die Variablen “Mittelgebirge”, “Waldreichtum in dünnbesiedeltem Gebiet” und “Landwirtschaft” waren die einzigen Parameter, die in beiden Bundesländern mit der MS-Rate korreliert waren, jedoch ist ihre Assoziation mit der MS-Häufigkeit im allgemeinen wesentlich weniger konsistent als deren Bezug zu den genannten klimatischen und ernährungsbezogenen Variablen.

Schlüsselwörter

multiple Sklerose Epidemiologie multiple Sklerose Ätiologie polyaromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe Rektum-Karzinom Epidemiologie 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Lauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurologische KlinikDarmstadt

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