Are people living with MS in the UK vitamin D deficient?


We are excited to announce that our newest study is open to recruitment! For this study we are working with our colleagues at Queen Mary University London, this study will be looking at vitamin D levels in the UK MS population. We know that vitamin D is one of the top research priorities for people living with MS. We hope the results from this study will inform us about the vitamin D status amongst the population and help us understand the factors that influence it. This information can be used to help design future vitamin D randomised control trials – so it is important that we get it right!

This study is a new kind of study for the MS Register – after answering questions via the Register, the 500 people who are selected to take part will receive packs through the post from Queen Mary University London. These will contain kits to allow people with MS to send us a finger prick blood spot and cheek swab, so that we can test blood vitamin D levels. Because we are doing everything using the Register and then via post, this means that you can take part in a research study without needing to travel – it all takes place in the comfort of your own home.

We are asking that each person with MS invites a friend to join them in this study, someone who is the same sex, similar age and lives nearby. Your friend will serve in our matched control group and allow us to look at differences between the people with MS and people without MS.

What does taking part in this study actually involve?

Firstly, we have a brief questionnaire which is filled out online via the MS Register. This will look at how much vitamin D people with MS are taking, and things that might affect vitamin D level. The more responses we have to this, the better idea we will have about what is happening across the UK.

From these respondents we will select 500 people to take part in the second part of the study. These participants will be the one who receive the finger prick and cheek swab sampling kits for themselves and their nominated friend. We need to get people from all over the UK and with different types of MS, so that we can look at the whole picture.

Once these are returned to us we will use these samples to look at levels of vitamin D and the genetic factors that can influence it. We are carrying this study out over the course of a year – so please don’t worry if you don’t hear from us right away! Even if you aren’t selected as one of the 500 participants to receive a sampling kit your participation is appreciated. ALL of the information we get from participants completing the survey will be used to help us report on the current status of vitamin D in people with MS.

That’s it – there are no visits to meet our researchers. There will of course be feedback on the results of the study on the Register.

We are looking to learn as much as we can about all people living with MS across the UK. We are hoping to hear from all over- from Land’s End right the way to John o’ Groats, from the largest cities to the smallest towns.


If you are interested in finding out more about this study please visit here to find out more information.