Smoking before your daughter can be harmful as a study has found that children, especially girls, who are exposed to passive smoking in childhood, face greater risk of developing arthritis later in life.
The results of the study were recently presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2017 press conference.
The study confirmed that exposure to tobacco early in life through passive smoking in childhood are at increased risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).
RA is the most common chronic inflammatory joint disease, affecting about 0.5-1% of the general population and causing progressive joint destruction, disability and reduced life expectancy whileas AS is a painful, progressive and disabling form of arthritis caused by chronic inflammation of the joints in the spine.
According to the researchers, exposure to tobacco early in life through passive smoking in childhood significantly increased this risk. Smoking, among other risk factors, increases the risk of developing AS.
To analyse the impact of active and passive smoking on the risk of developing RA, a large population of female volunteers born between 1925 and 1950 were prospectively followed since 1990.
The study finds that in smokers who had childhood passive exposure to smoke, the hazard ratio was 1.73 compared with non-smokers not exposed during childhood while as the hazard ratio was 1.37 in active smokers not exposed to passive smoke during childhood.
“Our study highlights the importance of avoiding any tobacco environment in children, especially in those with a family history of RA,” said lead author Professor Raphaèle Seror from University Hospitals of South Paris, France.
Out of 70,598 women, a total of 1,239 patients self-reported developing RA, of which 350 cases were eligible for analysis of the link to active and passive smoking, and 280 in the analysis of the link to a history of an intestinal transit disorder.
The combined data taken from 8 eligible studies suggested a significant association between smoking and cumulative spinal structural damage (Odds Ratio 2.02).
“Smoking constitutes a major risk factor not only for disease susceptibility but also disease severity in patients with AS,” said lead author Professor Servet Akar from Izmir Katip Celebi University Faculty of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey.
“Rheumatologists should work hard to encourage their AS patients to quit smoking as this could have a major impact on future quality of life,” he added.