“Our study highlights the importance of avoiding any tobacco environment in children, especially in those with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis,” said lead author Raphaele Seror, professor at the University Hospitals of South Paris, France.
The results of the study was presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2017.
Further, in a separate analysis smoking was also associated with increased progression of structural damage to the spine in patients with ankylosing spondylitis — a painful, progressive and disabling form of arthritis caused by chronic inflammation affecting the spine and large joints.
Smoking led to the formation of new bony growths (known as syndesmophytes), the researchers said.
“Smoking constitutes a major risk factor not only for disease susceptibility but also disease severity in patients with AS,” said Servet Akar, professor from Izmir Katip Celebi University, Turkey.
“Rheumatologists should work hard to encourage their AS patients to quit smoking as this could have a major impact on future quality of life,” he added. (IANS)
Obese patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to experience progressive disability than patients who are overweight, according to a new study.
Overweight means having more body weight than is considered normal or healthy for one’s age or build, while obesity is the condition of the excess amount of body fat with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30.
The researchers found that severe obesity was associated with more rapid progression of disability.
The study, published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research, also found that patients who lost weight tended to become disabled more quickly.
Health providers need to recognize unintentional weight loss as a poor prognostic sign and refer patients for strength training, physical therapy, and other interventions to prevent disability, said the researcher.
“We believe that this is because when people get older and acquire illness, they tend to lose weight,” said Joshua Baker of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
“So, this study suggests that patients with rheumatoid arthritis and obesity would benefit from intentional weight loss through a comprehensive management strategy; however, when we see that someone is losing weight without trying, it’s probably a poor prognostic sign, especially if they are already thin,” Baker added.
As new therapies and approaches to weight loss become available, these results will help promote their use in patients with arthritis, to help prevent disability over the long-term, the researcher said.
For the study, the team examined information on 23,323 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (IANS)