The correlation between light smoking and RA in womenA new research published online concluded that most women don’t know the risks of light smoking on their health wellness. According to their findings, researchers found that women who engage in light smoking were more likely to suffer from RA or rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, the researchers said that cessation from the smoking habit cannot entirely eliminate the risk but helps in reducing it.

How the research was conducted

The research team was led by Daniela Di Giuseppe from Stockholm Karolinska Institutet where they studied the effects resulting from varying intensity of smoking, duration of the smoking and cessation on risks of rheumatoid arthritis by using data sourced from Swedish Mammography Cohort. The research involved 34, 101 women who had 219 RA cases and were aged between 54 and 89 years. The women were followed by the researchers for 7 years between 2003 and 2010.

Reporting of the research findings

The researchers noted that risk of rheumatoid arthritis showed a significant correlation with the intensity of smoking. The relative risk of RA between women who smoke between one and seven cigarettes in a day and those who never smoked was 2.31. The correlation based on smoking duration in women who had smoked between one and 25 years vs. those who have never smoked was 1.60. Additionally, the researchers said that the risk was even elevated significantly 15 years later after quitting smoking compared to those who have never smoked with a relative risk of 1.99. However, it was clear that RA risk appeared to decrease slowly with time after the women had stopped smoking. For women that had quit smoking 15 years before the follow up started, the risk was even lower unlike those who quit smoking just a year before follow up with a relative risk of 0.70 and 95 %confidence level.

The researchers said that the study had indicated that women involved in light smoking had increased risk of suffering from RA. Besides this, the research findings showed a decrease in risk of RA with time as the women quit smoking. Nevertheless, when this was compared to the never smokers, there were statistically high risks. The author of the study wrote that former smokers also had clearly high risks of developing RA. Due to such and other effects, it was important that women are persuaded to stop smoking and those who haven’t smoking should be encouraged not to think about getting themselves into this habit. The researchers also highlighted that smoking had other disastrous health effects let alone increasing the risk of RA among women. More often than not, the research said, smoking is largely associated with certain forms of cancer like lung cancer, which can be very fatal. The most challenging part among light and heavy smokers is to quit smoking. Cigarettes are very addictive and even the light smokers find themselves in great difficulties when trying to stop the habits.