Smoking was tied to more severe cases of axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA), a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis involving the spine and/or sacroiliac joints.

According to researchers, smokers had worse disease activity and worse quality of life than never-smokers, MedPage Today reported.

This cross-sectional analysis included 932 AxSpA patients in the BSR register who had not yet been treated with biologics. A majority (70%) were men and the mean age was 50. Among patients with available HLA-B27 data, 84% were positive. About one in five were current smokers, 37% were former smokers, and 44% had never smoked. Among the daily smokers, nearly one in four were classified as heavy smokers, smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day.

People who had ever smoked had evidence of worse disease across the measures, after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, and HLA-B27 status, Zhao reported. For example, on the BASDAI, ever smokers had 1 unit score worse disease activity compared to people who had never smoked. Furthermore, people who had quit smoking had better disease activity than those who continued to smoke.