In The News – January, 2023


Cigarette Smoking Worsens Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

It’s well known that cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, but less is known about the impact of smoking on people who already have the disease. A study published in Arthritis Care & Research (September 2022) analyzed data on 1,531 people newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis who were followed for three years. Those who currently smoked cigarettes reported higher disease activity and scored lower on measures of quality of life than nonsmokers. Those who stopped smoking within one year had less disease activity, measured as number of swollen joints. Those who stopped smoking later did not have better outcomes, compared with those who continued to smoke. For people who smoke, the study highlights the importance of quitting as soon as possible, not only to benefit overall health but to improve chances of a good outcome.

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