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ObjectiveTo study whether the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is increased in people with prior autoimmune disease.MethodsAn all-England hospital record-linkage dataset spanning 1999-2011 was used. Cohorts were constructed of people with each of a range of autoimmune diseases; the incidence of ALS in each disease cohort was compared with the incidence of ALS in a cohort of individuals without prior admission for the autoimmune disease.ResultsThere were significantly more cases than expected of ALS associated with a prior diagnosis of asthma, celiac disease, younger-onset diabetes (younger than 30 years), multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, myxedema, polymyositis, Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ulcerative colitis.ConclusionsAutoimmune disease associations with ALS raise the possibility of shared genetic or environmental risk factors.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1222 - 1225


From the Oxford University Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (M.R.T., K.T.), John Radcliffe Hospital; Oxford University Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology (R.G., M.J.G.), Department of Public Health; and Oxford University Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (S.R.), Oxford, UK.


Humans, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Autoimmune Diseases, Hospital Records, Incidence, Risk, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, England, Female, Male