RA and Smoking. . . . m

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
RA and Smoking. . . . m
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 11:11am
Smoking and Rheumatoid arthritis risk investigated

Health Media Ltd


Rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the body's immune system attacks the joints, is two to three times more common in women. Although its causes are not properly understood, age, diet, obesity and a history of smoking are all associated with an increased risk of the disease.

Experts are unsure why more women develop the disease than men. Previous research has suggested than female sex hormones and factors such as taking the contraceptive pill and having an abortion could increase the risk.

The researchers, from Stanford University, looked at 2,625 people to investigate the link between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis. They collected data on age, height, education and smoking habits.

The results revealed that smoking was only a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis in men.

The researchers then measured the levels of a rogue antibody called rheumatoid factor in the patients. Rheumatoid factor is believed to make the body's immune system attack the joints and is found in 80 per cent of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

The production of rheumatoid factor is linked to smoking. However, the researchers found that pre-menopausal women block this effect, effectively removing smoking as a risk factor.

The authors say this study has uncovered interesting differences between the susceptibility of men and women to the disease. They add that further research is needed to help understand the interactions between smoking, rheumatoid arthritis and gender.

To see more focused health-related content, go to http://www.health-news.co.uk


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 12:13pm
Angela, how are you doing on the "smoke-free" front?? I am watching you!! HEEHEE! Even if I can't post. I think you have to log-in to read the posts, is this right?

Love, Vicki

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 3:15pm
Vicki, I think you should be able to read the posts even when you aren't logged in - at least I can!! I thought I was getting used to this board a little last night, and then tonight I logged in from the PC instead of the Apple, and found it's all laid out differently on the PC and I have no idea why! When I log in on the Apple, all the posts run horizontally and it's a complete nighmare trying to find anything - at least on the PC the topics are stacked vertically. I think I need a ciggie to cope, hahahahaha! Only kidding, tonight is my two-week anniversary of stopping smoking (except for that weeny, weeny lapse last week, heehee!) It's getting a lot easier, I'm not really thinking about smoking now, and I can even sit with my friend when she's smoking and not gaze longingly at the packet - I just passively inhale a lot!

How are you, Vicki, have you decided to find a new rheumy? Hope you see this post, anyway!

{{{{gentle hugs}}}} and lots of love,

Ang xxx


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 5:58pm
Dear Ang,

I actually found your post!! HeeHee!! You are doing a great job, you non-smoker you!!

I am getting around on this board a little better. I have been wrapping Julia's birthday presents today and doing a little yard work.

I have my "feelers" out for a new rheumy. I am not going back to the "new rheumy" here in Sactramento. The hell with him! Old rheumy told me not to go back and they went to med school together! I have to find one who believes in FM. I have a few names and I even asked the pharmacy who they would recommend. One keeps popping up, but he is older than me and I am not sure if I want an "old fart" or someone just out of school!! I am working on finding a "special" rheumy!

Love you Ang, keep up the good work!