According to a new study, teens who are smoking before the age of 17 may be putting themselves in danger of developing multiple sclerosis in the later years.
Researchers studied 87 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who were among more than 30,000 people who took part in the 2002 National Health Interview Survey.
The people were divided into three groups: nonsmokers, early smokers who started before age 17, and late smokers who started at 17 or later.
The people who started smoking before age 17 were 2.7 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop multiple sclerosis, the researchers say.
People who started smoking at 17 or later did not show an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis compared to nonsmokers, according to the researchers.
About 32% of the MS patients were early smokers, compared to 19% of the people who didn’t develop the disease, the researchers say.
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