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Nicotine may slow progression of rheumatoid arthritis

In people with rheumatoid arthritis, heavy cigarette smoking appears to slow the rate of joint destruction, new research suggests.

Potentially, this may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of nicotine, Dr. Axel Finckh, University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland told Reuters Health.

Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease that causes progressive joint destruction, disability, and premature death, Finckh and colleagues reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Yet, it remains unclear if smoking influences the progressive joint destruction and disability cause by rheumatoid arthritis. Finckh and colleagues therefore assessed joint X-rays and results from self-reported functional disability questionnaires for more than 2,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients in their early- to mid-fifties.

SOURCE: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, July 2007.

| Tags: Arthritis, Back Pain, Smoking Cessation, Work and Life Health |

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