The Effect of Stopping Smoking on Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Data from BARFOT, a Multicenter Study of Early RA

R&D Center, Spenshult Rheumatology Hospital, 313 92 Oskarström, Sweden.
The Open Rheumatology Journal 10/2012; 6(1):303-309. DOI: 10.2174/1874312901206010303
Source: PubMed


We studied the effect of stopping smoking on disease activity in patients with RA.

Between 1992 and 2005, 2,800 adult patients were included in the BARFOT early RA study in Sweden. Disease Activity Score 28 joints (DAS28), C-reactive protein (CRP), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-CCP, general health and pain visual analog scales (VAS), EULAR response and treatment were registered at inclusion and at follow-up 2, 5 and 8 years. In 2010, a self-completion postal questionnaire was sent to 2,102 patients, enquiring about lifestyle factors, including cessation of smoking.

A total of 1,460 adult RA patients with disease duration ≤2 years were included in this study. Seventeen percent smoked in 2010. In total, 127 patients stopped smoking after inclusion in the study. Smoking cessation after inclusion in the study was negatively associated with EULAR good outcome at 8 years (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.22–0.86, p=0.02), controlled for age, disease duration, sex, socioeconomic class, smoking status, RF, and DAS28 at inclusion.

Seventeen percent of the RA patients smoked in 2010 in this large Swedish RA cohort. Stopping smoking after onset of RA did not change the poor prognosis of smokers with RA, but all RA patients need to stop smoking because of the high risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity and the association of smoking with vasculitis and noduli in RA.

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Available from: Maria L E Andersson, Oct 02, 2015
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    • "The group “other” in the SEI consisted of students, housewives and other people with no occupation. Data on smoking, stopping smoking, second-hand exposure to smoke and the use of snuff and alcohol have been published [16-21]. Data on diet, pain and physical activity will be published separately. "
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    ABSTRACT: There have been no reports on the effect of immigrant status and socioeconomic status on outcome in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Sweden. Between 1992 and 2006, 2,800 patients were included in the BARFOT study on early RA in Sweden. Disease Activity Score 28 joints (DAS28), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), treatment and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria were registered. In 2010, 1,430 patients completed a questionnaire enquiring about demographics and lifestyle factors. One hundred and thirty-nine of the 1,430 patients (9.7%) were immigrants. At baseline immigrants had higher mean HAQ (1.2 vs 0.97 for non-immigrants, p=0.001), DAS28 (5.6 vs 5.2, p=0.000), visual analog scale (VAS) pain (56 mm vs 45 mm, p=0.000), VAS global health (53 mm vs 44 mm, p=0.000) and tender joint count (TJC) (10 vs 8, p=0.000). These differences persisted for up to 2 years of follow-up (for HAQ, for up to 8 years of follow-up). Immigrant status did not have any effect on swollen joint count (SJC), ESR, CRP or EULAR response. Socioeconomic class did not have any effect on treatment or outcome. Immigrants scored worse in pain, function and TJC for up to 2 years of follow-up, but they did not differ from non-immigrants in objective measures of inflammation or EULAR outcome. This could be due to different perceptions of health and pain and/or the stress of immigration. Socioeconomic class had no effect on treatment or outcome, and this could be due to the relatively egalitarian society in Sweden.
    The Open Rheumatology Journal 11/2013; 7(Suppl 3):105-11. DOI:10.2174/1874312901307010105
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to evaluate an intervention program in smoker patients. We selected consecutive active smoker patients with rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, or connective tissue diseases. The intervention consisted of the following: (1) a baseline visit, which included verbal and written advice by the rheumatologist, emphasizing the practical benefits of smoking cessation. Patients completed a questionnaire that included smoking dependence tests and previous attempts to quit. (2) A follow-up visit to the nurse in the 3rd month for reinforcement and the receiving of pharmacological treatment to help patients quit smoking. The primary outcome was total abstinence in the last 7 days of a phone interview at 3, 6, and 12 months. The secondary outcome was a reduction in cigarette consumption by at least 50 %. A total of 945 patients were screened. About 185 (19.5 %) were current smokers, and 152 were included for intervention. In the previous 5 years, the mean annual withdrawal rate was 4.6 %. The smoking cessation rate was 11.8, 14.4, and 15.7 % at 3, 6, and 12 months (OR compared with previous cessation rate 3.8 (CI 95 % 1.8-8.1)). Twenty-nine patients (19 %) reduced ≥50 % of the cigarette consumption at 12 months. The linear regression analysis showed that a score of less dependence (p = 0.03) and previous attempts to quit smoking (p = 0.04) were significantly associated with definitive smoking cessation at 12 months. One out of six patients quit smoking with the aid of an educational program which included verbal and written advice by the rheumatologist and the nurse. As far as we know, this is the first interventional study in smoker patients with arthritis.
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    ABSTRACT: Socioeconomic status (SES) is a hierarchical social classification associated with different outcomes in health and disease. The most important factors influencing SES are income, educational level, occupational class, social class, and ancestry. These factors are closely related to each other as they present certain dependent interactions. Since there is a need to improve the understanding of the concept of SES and the ways it affects health and disease, we review herein the tools currently available to evaluate SES and its relationship with health and autoimmune diseases.
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