Quitting smoking can improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Quitting smoking can benefit people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a new study finds.
About 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder that attacks the tissue around the body’s joints and also can widespread cause pain and disability.
It is widely recognized that cigarette smoking is a strong risk factor for the development of RA but the relationship between smoking and disease activity in established disease has been less clear.
In this new study, researchers at Stamford University in Palo Alto, Calif. looked at factors found in RA, including expressions of inflammation, called cytokines, as well as other clinical measures of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity in U.S.Veterans and compared them with those of non-smokers and never-smokers.
The team studied 1,466 U.S. veterans enrolled in the Veterans Affairs RA registry, and enrolled 1,130 (76 percent) whom tested positive for anti-CCP2 antibodies, which is a marker for the disease. Of the participants, 89 percent were men, and the study involved 321 current smokers, 599 former smokers, and 210 never smokers.
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