August 14, 2017
1 min read

Study: Rheumatologists more likely to counsel smokers with uncontrolled vs controlled RA

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Rheumatologists were more likely to counsel about smoking cessation to patients who smoked and had uncontrolled rheumatoid arthritis vs. those who had controlled disease, according to a recently published study.

“In contrast to our hypothesis, perceived uncontrolled [rheumatoid arthritis] RA predicted more likely smoking cessation counseling by rheumatologists than controlled RA, but overall counseling rates were low at 10%,” Andrew P. Vreede, MD, from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “Counseling occurred more often for patients with cardiopulmonary complications.”

Researchers assessed 3,396 visits from patients with RA. These sessions included 360 visits with active smokers. Investigators found controlled RA — as determined by the patient — was present in 31% of visits of smokers compared with 39% of non-smoker visits. Providers documented patients’ smoking status in 39% of visit notes with smokers and smoking cessation counseling was documented in 10%. In addition, visits with patients who had controlled RA were less likely to have smoking counseling compared with patients who had uncontrolled RA (odds ratio = 0.3). In addition, counseling occurred more often in visits with patients who had cardiovascular, pulmonary or psychiatric disease; whereas counseling declined in visits with patients who had obesity.

“Our findings highlight the need for systematic, proactive smoking cessation counseling or referral processes in rheumatology clinics prior to smoking-related complications,” the researchers wrote. – by Will Offit


Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.