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11-10-2017 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

Further support for smoking cessation in RA patients

medwireNews: Smoking is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular (CV) events and respiratory tract infections (RTI) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and this risk decreases with each additional year of smoking cessation, researchers report.

“These results could be used to help encourage patients with RA to stop smoking,” say Deborah Symmons (University of Manchester, UK) and study co-authors.

In an analysis of data from 5079 RA patients using UK primary care electronic health records linked to hospital inpatient data, the team found that current smokers were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for CV events or RTI than never smokers after adjustment for age and sex.

Hospitalization risk for both outcomes was also significantly higher among current versus former smokers, and the risk fell by approximately 25% for CV events and 15% for RTI with each additional year of smoking cessation.

“Promoting smoking cessation among patients with RA could therefore reduce the risk of CV [events] and RTI for these patients,” write the researchers in RMD Open.

And they conclude: “Materials designed to raise awareness of the link between RA and smoking in patients with RA have recently been developed and could help to promote this message.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group