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Can Smoking Cessation Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk?

In an Arthritis Care & Research analysis of 230,732 women, those who quit smoking many years ago had a lower risk of a certain form of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with women who recently quit.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 12:01 am EST
"Our study is one of the first to show that a behavior change of prolonged smoking cessation may actually delay or even prevent the onset of seropositive RA, suggesting lifestyle changes may modify risk for development of a systemic rheumatic disease"

In an Arthritis Care & Research analysis of 230,732 women, those who quit smoking many years ago had a lower risk of a certain form of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with women who recently quit.

In the analysis, which included information from two large prospective cohorts with up to 38 years of follow-up, the risk of seropositive RA—when patients have antibodies in their blood that help identify the disease—was reduced by 37 percent for those who sustained smoking cessation for 30 or more years compared with those who recently quit smoking. Patients who have seropositive RA tend to have a more severe disease course with more joint deformities, disability, and inflammation outside of the joints. There was no association of smoking with seronegative RA, suggesting a different pathogenesis than seropositive RA.

“Our study is one of the first to show that a behavior change of prolonged smoking cessation may actually delay or even prevent the onset of seropositive RA, suggesting lifestyle changes may modify risk for development of a systemic rheumatic disease,” said senior author Dr. Jeffrey Sparks, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/acr.23837 

About Journal 

Arthritis Care & Research, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (a division of the College), is a peer-reviewed publication that publishes original research, review articles, and editorials that promote excellence in the clinical practice of rheumatology. Relevant to the care of individuals with rheumatic diseases, major topics are evidence-based practice studies, clinical problems, practice guidelines, educational, social, and public health issues, health economics, health care policy, and future trends in rheumatology practice.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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