Co-occurring risk factors in multiple sclerosis

Julia M. Balto, Ipek Ensari, Elizabeth A. Hubbard, Naiman Khan, Jennifer L. Barnes, Robert W Motl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We examined individual and co-occurring risk factors as correlates of health outcomes in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: Sixty-nine participants with MS completed measures of nutrition, physical activity levels, comorbidity and neuroperformance. The data were analyzed using t-test analyses in SPSS Statistics 22.0. Results: Total number of comorbidities (z = 2.36, p = .02), cardiovascular disease symptoms (z = 2.63, p = .01), Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW) speed (z = 2.53, p = .01), and 6 Minute Walk (6MW) distance (z = 2.61, p = .01) had significant differences in the cluster of co-occurring poor nutrition and insufficient levels of physical activity. There was a significant difference between those reporting two vs. one risk factor for number of comorbidities (z = 2.41, p = .02), cardiovascular disease symptoms (z = 2.40 p = .02), T25FW speed (z = 2.39, p = .02), and 6MW distance (z = 2.68, p = .01). Conclusions: These results suggest that: (1) the cluster of co-occurring poor diet and insufficient physical activity is associated with comorbidities and neuroperformance markers; and (2) that cluster is further synergistically associated with comorbidities and neuroperformance markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • Diet
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Physical activity
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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