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Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Need to Quit Smoking ASAP

Oct 04, 2022 12:32 pm

While it is known that smoking ups the risk of developing RA, its effect on outcomes in those with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is less known.  A report from an early arthritis registry shows that current smoking increases disease activity and lowers health-related quality of life.

The report from Drs. Alfredsson, Klareskog, and Hedström appears in the current issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

A total of 1531 newly diagnosed RA patients from the EIRA (Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis) study were serially followed for three years.

Those who were current smokers (compared with non-smokers) demonstrated higher disease activity and lower health-related quality of life scores after 1 and 3 years of follow-up.

Moreover, those who stopped smoking within 1-year post-recruitment (baseline) had less disease activity (swollen joint counts) after 1-year follow-up.  Yet, late smoking cessation was not associated with more favorable outcomes compared to continued smoking.

Patients can optimize their RA care by tobacco sessation; those who continue as current smokers are likely to have worse disease activity.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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