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Dec 16, 2010

Cigarette Smoking Increasing One's Risk for Arthritis

A study reported in the December issue of  Arthritis & Rheumatism states that cigarette smoking increases the risk for rheumatoid arthritis in African Americans.  The study showed a two fold increase in rheumatoid arthritis in African Americans who were heavy smokers.  The study also showed that one in six cases of rheumatoid arthrtis can be prevented through smoking cessation or by limiting exposure to 10 packs per year.  The risk attributed to smoking is highest in African Americans who are positive for the gene HLA-DRB1 SE alleles.