Smoking cessation was associated with lower disease activity, improved physical function and better quality of life in patients with axial spondyloarthritis, according to a recently published study.
“This study provides evidence, not only that patients with axial spondyloarthritis who smoke experience worse disease, but that ex-smokers report lower levels of disease activity, and better function and quality of life than current smokers,” Gareth T. Jones, PhD, in the Epidemiology Group Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine in Scotland, told Healio Rheumatology. “The potential disease-specific benefits associated with smoking cessation equate to around 30% of the effect one might achieve with intensive physiotherapy, or 16% that of biologic therapy.”
Gareth T. Jones
Using medical record data from 946 participants in the Scotland Registry for Ankylosing Spondylitis, Jones and colleagues recorded the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis indices of disease activity (BASDAI) and function (BASFI), as well as the Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life questionnaire (ASQoL). The mean age of participants as 52 years and 73.5% were male. In addition, 22% reported current smoking and 38% reported to be ex-smokers. After adjusting for age, sex, deprivation, education and alcohol status, the researchers performed linear and logistic regression to determine the impact of smoking cessation on various outcomes.
Compared with non-smokers, the researchers found current smokers experienced worse BASDAI (beta = 0.5), BASFI (beta = 0.8) and ASQoL (beta = 1.5). Compared with current smokers, ex-smokers reported improved BASDAI (beta = –0.5) and improved ASQoL (beta = –1.2) and were more likely to have a history of uveitis (odds ratio = 2.4).
“The study provides a strong argument, therefore, that smoking cessation should be promoted — not only as general health advice, but specifically targeted as a disease management strategy in this patient group,” Jones said. – by Will Offit
Disclosures: Jones and Macfarlane both report research funding from AbbVie, Pfizer and UCB in the form of unrestricted or investigator initiated grants.