TABLE 7.11 Multiple Sclerosis and Solvent Exposure

Reference, Country



Exposure Determination

Solvent Exposure


Adjusted OR (95% CI or p)


Juntunen et al., 1989

19 twins from Finnish twin cohort (all adult, same sex); linked to hospital discharge register;

17 unaffected twins; examined carefully; two twins found to have MS

Information collected by specialist in occupational medicine;

Occupational solvent exposure

0.4 (p>0.1)


Sparse on exposure methodology;




Five control twins had occupational solvent exposure, but not cases


work tasks, working conditions, equipment used;

Twin study


Prevalent cases (1972–1985);

0=no exposure,

Schumacher diagnostic criteria; checked all diagnoses

1=occasional exposure,

2=slight exposure

Gronning et al., 1993

155 cases with onset from 1976–1986; diagnosed by 1986;

164 hospital patients with other diagnoses; matched on age, sex, residence

Questionnaire with specific questions on occupational exposure to solvents;

Occupational solvent exposure

1.55 (0.83–2.90)

Logistic regression controlled for sex, age, area of residence


Unweighted duration:


Bauer criteria;


1–5 years

1.23 (0.55–2.76)

Subset of larger

Only exposures before onset;

over 5 years

1.97 (0.87–4.48)


Living in Hordaland;


study of MS

Exposure index:


Prevalent cases

Exposure information: type, frequency, duration, symptoms of toxicity;

less than 2.5

1.44 (0.69–3.00

over 2.5

1.74 (0.72–4.25)


Ravnskov method used to develop exposure index



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