Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 26th, 2013
Yet another reason for women to kick the habit

Women smokers, even light smokers, run the very real risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, or painful, crippling swelling of the joints, which is considered an autoimmune disorder. (It is different from osteoarthritis, which destroys joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues.)

A new study conducted in Sweden found the link to be more than just a little disturbing. Consider the findings:

1) Smoking just a few cigarettes a day can more than double a woman’s risk of rheumatoid arthritis, research has shown.

2) Compared with never-smokers, women who puffed between one and seven cigarettes a day had a 2.31-fold higher chance of developing the disease.

3) Even 15 years after quitting the habit, the risk was nearly twice as high among former smokers.

According to the online journal, Arthritis Research & Therapy, even light smoking (1 to 7 cigarettes a day) takes a heavy toll on women smokers.

Moral of this story: Quit!

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