Seong Kyu KIM, Jung Yoon CHOE

Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea

Keywords: Disease activity; European League Against Rheumatism; female; passive smoking; response; rheumatoid arthritis


Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the effects of passive smoking on disease activity in female patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Patients and methods: Among a total of 191 female patients with RA (mean age 59.1±12.5 years; range 21 to 87 years) consecutively recruited, 100 female patients (mean age 56.1±13.4 years; range 21 to 87 years) completed the study with mean 17.3 months of follow-up. Patients were classified according to smoking status: current, never, passive, or ex-smoker. Clinical response between never and passive smokers was assessed by disease- activity score 28 (DAS28)-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (DAS28-ESR and DAS28-CRP) and by the European League Against Rheumatism response criteria.
Results: Among the 100 female RA patients analyzed, the distribution of smoking status was as follows: current (n=3), never (n=55), passive (n=34), and ex-smokers (n=8). There was no difference of DAS28-ESR and DAS28-CRP between never and passive smokers at baseline. At the time of follow-up, the values of DAS28-ESR and DAS28-CRP in never smokers were significantly decreased than those in passive smokers (p=0.019 and p=0.023, respectively). Patients who never smoked showed a trend to have good or moderate European League Against Rheumatism response without statistical significance, compared to passive smokers (52.7% vs. 32.4%, respectively; p=0.060).
Conclusion: This preliminary study implicates that passive smoking might be responsible for higher disease activity in female RA patients and never smoking might induce good clinical response in RA.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

This work was supported by Daegu Catholic University Medical Center Regional Center for Rheumatic Diseases & Degenerative Arthritis research grant.