The link between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis in men.

Date:

25-Mar-2003

Source

Arthritis Research and Therapy

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Professional Data: Arthritis, Rheumatoid

Article

Current medical thinking views rheumatoid arthritis as an "autoimmune disease." In autoimmune diseases, for reasons that are not completely understood, the immune system attacks the body's own tissue as though it were a foreign invader. People with rheumatoid arthritis produce an immunity-related substance called "rheumatoid factor" that targets the synovial membrane. The consequences are severe pain and inflammation, joint disfigurement, and loss of joint movement and function.

As if the destruction rheumatoid arthritis inflicts on joints was not bad enough, other parts of the body suffer as well. The disease can cause a host of other potentially serious conditions including eye inflammation, neurological problems, inflamed blood vessels, disorders of the lymph system, and even heart trouble. One distinguishing feature of RA is the appearance of prominent bony lumps called "nodules" over joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually chronic, although people with the disease sometimes go into spontaneous remission.

Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead are possible contributing factors in RA. One study reported that these toxic metals could interfere with the body's ability to manufacture collagen, the tough, fibrous protein that acts like a steel girder in cartilage.

A recent study published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, investigated the role of cigarette smoking and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in both men and women. Conducted in Finland, 1095 RA patients were recruited as well as 1530 control subjects. The researchers found after analysis that, men who previously smoked had a higher overall risk of rheumatoid arthritis, although this trend was not seen in women. Because of this difference in sex, the authors stated that further research in menopause and rheumatoid arthritis is warranted. The authors concluded that, “sex is a biologic effect modifier in the association between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis.”1.

References

1. Krishnan E, et al. Smoking-gender interaction and risk for rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Research and Therapy. Mar 2003;5(3):R158. As if the destruction rheumatoid arthritis inflicts on joints was not bad enough, other parts of the body suffer as well. The disease can cause a host of other potentially serious conditions including eye inflammation, neurological problems, inflamed blood vessels, disorders of the lymph system, and even heart trouble. One distinguishing feature of RA is the appearance of prominent bony lumps called "nodules" over joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually chronic, although people with the disease sometimes go into spontaneous remission.

Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead are possible contributing factors in RA. One study reported that these toxic metals could interfere with the body's ability to manufacture collagen, the tough, fibrous protein that acts like a steel girder in cartilage.

Current medical thinking views rheumatoid arthritis as an "autoimmune disease." In autoimmune diseases, for reasons that are not completely understood, the immune system attacks the body's own tissue as though it were a foreign invader. People with rheumatoid arthritis produce an immunity-related substance called "rheumatoid factor" that targets the synovial membrane. The consequences are severe pain and inflammation, joint disfigurement, and loss of joint movement and function.

As if the destruction rheumatoid arthritis inflicts on joints was not bad enough, other parts of the body suffer as well. The disease can cause a host of other potentially serious conditions including eye inflammation, neurological problems, inflamed blood vessels, disorders of the lymph system, and even heart trouble. One distinguishing feature of RA is the appearance of prominent bony lumps called "nodules" over joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually chronic, although people with the disease sometimes go into spontaneous remission.

Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead are possible contributing factors in RA. One study reported that these toxic metals could interfere with the body's ability to manufacture collagen, the tough, fibrous protein that acts like a steel girder in cartilage.

A recent study published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, investigated the role of cigarette smoking and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in both men and women. Conducted in Finland, 1095 RA patients were recruited as well as 1530 control subjects. The researchers found after analysis that, men who previously smoked had a higher overall risk of rheumatoid arthritis, although this trend was not seen in women. Because of this difference in sex, the authors stated that further research in menopause and rheumatoid arthritis is warranted. The authors concluded that, “sex is a biologic effect modifier in the association between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis.”1.

References

1. Krishnan E, et al. Smoking-gender interaction and risk for rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Research and Therapy. Mar 2003;5(3):R158.