Magazine article USA TODAY

Smoking Increases Disease's Severity

Magazine article USA TODAY

Smoking Increases Disease's Severity

Article excerpt

Cigarette smoking significantly worsens the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, who studied the severity of the disease in more than 300 patients. Kenneth Saag, assistant professor of internal medicine, indicates that smoking is a significant, modifiable risk factor for the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that affects more than 2,000,000 Americans. "Our study is the first that I know of to suggest smoking affects the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, so more research in this area is needed. But it appears likely that not smoking would benefit those people with rheumatoid arthritis."

Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation and degeneration of the joints, typically in the fingers, hands, feet, ankles, knees, and shoulders. The condition usually is diagnosed by the presence of swollen joints, by X-rays that reveal erosion around the affected joints, and by the presence of antibodies in the blood known as rheumatoid factor.

Patients who first had visited the university's rheumatology or orthopedics clinics between 1985 and 1992 were asked about their rheumatoid arthritis, medication use and other health factors, lifestyles, and smoking habits. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.