Long-term physical activity: an exogenous risk factor for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?
Harwood, Ceryl A
McDermott, Christopher J
Shaw, Pamela J
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Taylor & Francis
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Harwood, C. A., Westgate, K., Gunstone, S., Brage, S., Wareham, N., McDermott, C. J., & Shaw, P. J. (2016). Long-term physical activity: an exogenous risk factor for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 17 377-384. https://doi.org/10.3109/21678421.2016.1154575
Objectives: To conduct a geographically defined, UK-based case-control study, to examine any association between physical activity (PA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: A novel historical PA questionnaire was designed, validated, and subsequently administered in individual face-to-face interviews of 175 newly diagnosed sporadic ALS cases and 317 age- and sex-matched community controls. Historical PA energy expenditure and time spent in vigorous-intensity PA were derived from questionnaire data and compared between cases and controls. Results: Participation in an extra 10kJ/kg/day of PA (equivalent to approximately 45minutes brisk walking) was consistently associated with an increased risk of ALS, with the strongest association observed for adulthood exercise-related PA (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.10-1.97). An extra 10mins/day of vigorous PA was also associated with the odds of ALS (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1·01-1·05). Results were slightly attenuated following adjustment for smoking and educational attainment. Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate a positive association between ALS and PA participation using a specifically designed and validated historical PA questionnaire. Despite the well-established health benefits of PA, a high activity lifestyle may also be associated with elevated risk of ALS. Large-scale prospective studies in the future may help to confirm this association.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, physical activity, risk factor, epidemiology, gene-environment interaction
This study was funded by a Medical Research Council/Motor Neurone Disease Association Lady Edith Wolfson Fellowship.
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (NF-SI-0512-10135)
Medical Research Council (MC_U106179471)
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/21678421.2016.1154575
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/254963