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Evidence shows that tobacco smoking interacts with development of rheumatic diseases. Increase in white cells count (leukocytosis) is frequently present, and in smokers, it is considered a biomarker of cardiovascular risk. Aim of the study is to evaluate this biomarker in smokers with rheumatic diagnosis. We carried out an observational study on 115 rheumatic outpatients (26 men and 89 women) divided into two groups according to their smoking habit: one composed of 56 smokers, the other of 59 not smokers. Diagnosis and common routinary clinical parameters were collected. In the total sample, smokers were 48.69%. Most common diagnosis was osteoarthritis (OA) (40.87% of the total); smokers in OA women were 36.11%, smokers in OA men were 54.55%. Second most common diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (23.48% of the total); smokers in RA women were 40.91%; smokers in RA men were 80%. OA smokers showed a significant increase (P < 0.05) in white cells count when compared with OA not smokers. Between RA smokers and not smokers, any clinical difference was found. RA subjects following regular pharmacological treatment in the last 2 months were 84.61%. OA patients treated with drugs in the last 2 months were only 22.2%. Results seem to confirm that smoking habit may influence the development as well as gender distribution of rheumatic diseases. They show also that in absence of pharmacological treatment in smokers affected by OA leukocytosis (biomarker of cardiovascular risk) is observed.
Rheumatology Unit, University Hospital G. Martino, Messina, Italy.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Rheumatology international
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