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Carol Eustice

Light Smoking Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

By May 9, 2013

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I have posted stories before about the increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis that is associated with smoking. People wanted to know, if they stopped smoking, would the risk decrease? According to a new study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital concluded that even light smoking is linked to the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. A person who smokes 1 to 7 cigarettes each day has double the risk for developing the disease.

Researchers also determined that how long you smoked had an impact on the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The likelihood of rheumatoid arthritis does decrease if a person quits smoking. Over time, the risk continues to decrease. Risk was lowered by one-third in people who had not smoked for 15 years. But, when people who had smoked and quit were compared to those who had never smoked -- the risk of rheumatoid arthritis was still higher 15 years after quitting. The bottom line is that you should quit smoking as soon as possible.

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