you've just moved here from another planet, you're well aware
of the profound dangers associated with consistent tobacco
use. People who smoke run the risk of developing chronic conditions
such as lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease, not to mention
rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
OK, let's mention RA afterall. Rheumatoid arthritis, the
most common form of arthritis in the United States, is a disabling
disease characterized by joint swelling, pain and stiffness.
According to a recent study, long-term cigarette smoking may
contribute to the development of RA.
As part of the Womens' Health Cohort Study, 377,481 female
health care professionals completed questionnaires that asked
about health habits, cigarette smoking history, and medical
history (including a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis). Results
showed that women who smoked for many years faced a 24-39%
increase in the risk of developing RA compared with nonsmokers,
even after accounting for other potential risk factors, such
as age, race, pregnancy history, menopausal status and hormone
Smoking is a choice, but it's easy to see why it's probably
not a very good choice, especially considering some of the
horrible diseases long-term smoking may cause. If you choose
to smoke, be aware of the risks to yourself and your children.
If you'd like to quit, your doctor can help determine the
method that will work best for you. And if you donšt smoke,
keep up the good work! Your body will thank you for it.
Karlson E, Min-Lee I, Cook N, et al. A retrospective cohort
study of cigarette smoking and risk of rheumatoid arthritis
in female health professionals. Arthritis & Rheumatism,
May 1999: Vol. 42, No. 5, pp910-917.