Even a few cigarettes a day increases risk of rheumatoid arthritis

April 21, 2013, BioMed Central

Number of cigarettes smoked a day and the number of years a person has smoked both increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. The risk decreases after giving up smoking but, compared to people who have never smoked, this risk is still elevated 15 years after giving up.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital analysed data from the Swedish Mammography Cohort, which included 34,000 women aged between 54 and 89, 219 of which had RA. Results of the study showed that even light smoking is associated with an increased risk of RA - smoking 1 to 7 cigarettes a day more than doubled this risk. When the team compared people who had never smoked, to women who had smoked for up to 25 years, they found that the risk also increased with length of smoking.

Stopping smoking did decrease chances of developing RA, with the risk continuing to decrease over time - 15 years after giving up the risk of RA had decreased by a third. However, compared to people who had never smoked, this risk remained significantly higher at 15 years after giving up.

Daniela Di Giuseppe, who led this study, commented, "Stopping smoking is important for many health reasons, including the increased risk of RA for smokers. But the clearly increased risk of developing RA, even many years after giving up, is another reason to stop smoking as soon as possible, and highlight the importance of persuading women not to start at all."

Explore further: Smoking is an independent risk factor for psoriasis

More information: Cigarette smoking and smoking cessation in relation to risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women, Daniela Di Giuseppe, Nicola Orsini, Lars Alfredsson, Johan Askling and Alicja Wolk, Arthritis Research & Therapy

Related Stories

Smoking is an independent risk factor for psoriasis

March 7, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Smoking is an independent risk factor for psoriasis, with particularly strong associations for heavy smokers and those who have smoked for many years, according to research published in the March 1 issue of ...

Research find links between lifestyle and developing rheumatoid arthritis

March 18, 2013
Researchers in Manchester have found a link between several lifestyle factors and pre-existing conditions, including smoking cigarettes and diabetes, and an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Stopping smoking is hard despite success of smoke-free legislation

April 20, 2012
The successful implementation of smokefree legislation in Hong Kong has led to an overall decrease in the total number of smokers but the remaining smokers who are finding it difficult to quit are going on to become "hardcore" ...

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis appear to be at increased risk for blood clots

October 2, 2012
A study that included more than 45,000 residents of Sweden with rheumatoid arthritis finds that individuals with this disease had an associated higher risk of venous thromboembolism (a blood clot that forms within a vein), ...

Recommended for you

Research shows diet has little influence on precursor to gout

October 11, 2018
Dietary factors have a far smaller influence on urate levels (a precursor to gout) than previously envisaged, new University of Otago research reveals.

More doctor visits lead to less suicide attempts for fibromyalgia patients

September 19, 2018
Fibromyalgia patients who regularly visit their physicians are much less likely to attempt suicide than those who do not, according to a new Vanderbilt University Medical Center study published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Antioxidant found to be effective in treating mice with osteoarthritis

September 14, 2018
A team of researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands has found that feeding a common antioxidant to test mice was effective in treating osteoarthritis. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group ...

Researchers find answers as to why some people are at risk of gout

September 12, 2018
University of Otago researchers have helped characterise a genetic variant that enables new understanding of why some people are at risk of gout, a painful and debilitating arthritic disease.

Emotions like anger and sadness may cause pain as well as being a result of it

September 10, 2018
While emotions such as anger or sadness are often thought of as being a result of stress or pain, findings recently published by Penn State researchers suggest that negative or mixed emotions could function as stressors themselves.

Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds

August 9, 2018
Do your knees ache? According to new findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, your diet could be a culprit.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.