Smoking cessation 4 years prior to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was linked to a reduced mortality risk, according to a recently published analysis.
Jeffrey A. Sparks,
, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues enrolled 121,701 registered nurses in 1976 who answered questionnaires every 2 years. Among the nurses, 938 had incident rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There were 8,951 matched controls.
Among those who smoked at baseline, 40% of participants with RA permanently quit smoking in the early period, compared with 36.1% of the control group. In addition, 33.4% of the RA group died; whereas, 22.8% of the control group died. Compared with smoking continuation, smoking cessation 4 years prior to diagnosis was linked with reduced mortality for the RA group (ratio = 0.58) and in the control group (ratio = 0.47). In addition, women with RA had an increased mortality after smoking at least five packs per day after RA diagnosis compared with those who did not smoke (ratio = 1.88).
“These results demonstrate the mortality burden from smoking for RA patients, beyond the effect observed in the general population,” the researchers wrote. – by Will A. Offit
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.