Quitting Smoking May Help Arthritis
The study, described as preliminary, appears to offer the first evidence that giving up cigarettes may help arthritis patients, the researchers say. The study was presented at a recent conference of the American College of Rheumatology.
"That's just one more reason to encourage them to quit smoking," said the lead author, Dr. Mark C. Fisher of the New York University Medical Center.
The study looked at more than 14,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis and divided them into three groups: nonsmokers, smokers and former smokers. When the study began, 1,851 patients were active smokers, but a fifth managed to stop smoking.
Those who did, Fisher said, saw a significant improvement in their symptoms.