Disease Severity in Never Smokers, Ex-Smokers, and Current Smokers With Axial Spondyloarthritis: Results From the Scotland Registry for Ankylosing Spondylitis

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Abstract

Objective

To examine the relationship between smoking, smoking cessation, and disease characteristics and quality of life (QoL) in spondyloarthritis.
Methods

The Scotland Registry for Ankylosing Spondylitis collects data from clinically diagnosed patients with spondyloarthritis. Clinical data, including Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) and the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) scores, were obtained from medical records. Mailed questionnaires contained information on smoking status and QoL (Ankylosing Spondylitis QoL questionnaire [ASQoL]). Linear and logistic regression were used to quantify the effect of smoking, and smoking cessation, on various disease-specific and QoL outcomes, with adjustments for age, sex, deprivation, education level, and alcohol use. Results are presented as regression coefficients (β) or odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).
Results

Data were obtained from 946 participants (73.5% male, mean age 52 years). Current smoking was reported by 22%, and 38% were ex-smokers. Ever smokers had poorer BASDAI (β = 0.5 [95% CI 0.2, 0.9]) and BASFI scores (β = 0.8 [95% CI 0.4, 1.2]), and reported worse QoL (ASQoL β = 1.5 [95% CI 0.7, 2.3]). Compared to current smokers, ex-smokers reported less disease activity (BASDAI β = −0.5 [95% CI −1.0, −0.04]) and significantly better QoL (ASQoL β = −1.2 [95% CI −2.3, −0.2]). They also were more likely to have a history of uveitis (OR 2.4 [95% CI 1.5, 3.8]).
Conclusion

Smokers with spondyloarthritis experience worse disease than those who are never smokers. However, this study provides new evidence that, among smokers, smoking cessation is associated with lower disease activity and better physical function and QoL. Clinicians should specifically promote smoking cessation as an adjunct to usual therapy in patients with spondyloarthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1413
Number of pages87
JournalArthritis Care & Research
Volume69
Issue number9
Early online date13 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Spondyloarthritis
  • smoking cessation
  • disease severity

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