Research published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases shows that smoking impairs the response to biological drugs for inflammatory arthritis that affects the lower back.

Smoking is known to heighten the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, and several drugs don’t seem to work as well in smokers with the condition. But as AxSpA is a relatively newly defined form of arthritis, it’s not clear what impact smoking has.

The researchers tracked the treatment response to a class of biological drugs known as tumour necrosis factor inhibitors in just under 700 patients with confirmed AxSpA in the Swiss Clinical Quality Management Cohort (SCQM), between 2005 and 2014.

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