FRIDAY, March 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Certain factors are tied to an increased likelihood of quitting smoking in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online March 3 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Maria Schletzbaum, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues used electronic health record data from two health systems to identify 3,577 patients with at least two International Classification of Disease diagnosis codes for RA between 2005 and 2016. Patient- and health care-level predictors of smoking cessation in patients with RA were evaluated.

The researchers found that at baseline, 507 patients smoked, and 29 percent of these patients quit during a median of 4.75 years. Baseline smokers were significantly more likely to be male, aged 40 to 59 years, of black race, and have Medicaid; however, none of these factors predicted cessation. Patients were more likely to quit if they were new to rheumatology care (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.60), as were patients in the rural community health system (aOR, 1.66). Seropositive patients were less likely to quit smoking (aOR, 0.57).

“[Our findings] highlight the need to engage seropositive patients who smoke and are at risk for worse rheumatoid arthritis and cardiopulmonary diseases, which we know are leading causes of death in rheumatoid arthritis,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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