Date of Award

7-23-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Derek Shendell - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Gieseker

Third Advisor

Dr. Solomon Okosun

Abstract

This study’s purpose is to examine the potential relationships between MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and environmental outdoor air pollutants in GA (Georgia). We used secondary, cross-sectional data received from the member’s list of the National Multiples Sclerosis Society’s GA chapter (NMSS-GA), the U.S. census, and scorecard.org, a database based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory (to 2002) and National Emissions Inventory (1999) data. The study population was 9,072,576 including 6,247 self-reported MS cases from NMSS-GA. Using stepwise multivariate linear regression of census and EPA data, the best predictive model in GA for female or total prevalence rates used per capita income and coarse particles (PM-10); male prevalence rates included only per capita income. The relationship between MS and PM-10 could be facilitated by influences of PM-10 on the systemic immune response and inflammation. More exposure and basic and clinical research are needed to understand environmental influences on MS.

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