Karolinska InstitutetApart from lung cancer and a host of other diseases that could be caused by smoking, here is one more disease that may be caused due to smoking. The disease is multiple sclerosis. A study from The Karolinska Institutet claims that smoking cigarettes may considerably raise a person’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) but using Swedish snuff may not contribute to multiple sclerosis.

Approximately 902 people apparently diagnosed with MS and about 1,855 people without MS in Sweden between the ages of 16 and 70 were included in the study. Every participant supposedly filled a questionnaire about tobacco cigarettes and snuff use.

It was discovered by the study team of Karolinska Institutet that in women who smoked, the risk for apparently developing MS was almost one and a half times more as compared to women who did not smoke. In men, the risk was almost two times more in those who smoked as opposed to those who did not smoke. The case was the same even with people who smoked moderately.

Using Swedish snuff apparently did not increase the threat of developing MS. This was an interesting observation made by the experts. This could mean that nicotine is supposedly not the substance to be blamed for the increased risk of MS among smokers, as Swedish snuff also has nicotine share the scientists associated with the study.

Nevertheless more examination may be required to better understand the mechanisms behind the findings. Some assumed theories could be that smoking may increase the threat of MS by rising the occurrence and persistence of respiratory infections, or by causing autoimmune reactions in genetically susceptible people. This is the opinion of study coordinator Dr Anna K Hedström.

This study was published in the September print issue of the American journal Neurology.