Smoking and rheumatoid arthritis



That arthritis pain is killing you? Well, it might be the pack you smoked today that caused it.

Recent research evidence indicates that smoking cigarettes can increase your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune form of the disease that has nothing to do with age. The study looked at 860 people and 605 of these had rheumatoid arthritis and 255 didn’t. Analysis of the data showed that heavy long-term smokers (e.g. those who smoke a apack a day for 10 years) are the most likely to develop the disease. According to study author Ted Mikuls of the University of Nebraska Medical Center:

“This is yet another thing for people to think about when they are picking up their cigarettes – they may be increasing their risk for arthritis.”

Smoking cigarettes is linked to many chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease and stroke. Now we can add rheumatoid arthritis to this list.

So next time you feel that pain on your joints, check your lifestyle and check your health habits. What have you done today?

About rheumatoid arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. It often starts between ages 25 and 55. You might have the disease for only a short time, or symptoms might come and go. The severe form can last a lifetime.

Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body’s own tissues.

No one knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Genes, environment and hormones might contribute. Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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