Smoking causes more problems in fibromyalgia patients

31 May 2021
Smoking causes more problems in fibromyalgia patients

Tobacco use spells trouble for patients with fibromyalgia, contributing to greater pain and increased severity of other symptoms, as shown in a study.

A total of 1,068 adult patients (mean age 46.6 years, 87 percent female, 87.9 percent White) participated in the study. Current tobacco users were more likely to be younger, male, and have lower body mass index (BMI) than former and never users.

The average Widespread Pain Index (WPI) score was 13.2 among current users, 12.4 among former users, and 12.0 among never users. The corresponding average Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) scores were 9.5, 9.0, and 8.9.

Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that compared with the never-use group, the current-use group had significantly greater WPI (effect estimate [EE], 1.03, 95 percent CI, 0.30–1.76; p=0.020) and SSS scores (EE, 0.47, 95 percent CI, 0.11–0.84; p=0.036).

The WPI score had a negative association with age (EE, −0.02 per year, 95 percent CI, −0.03 to −0.001; p=0.037) and nonuse of opioid (EE, −1.08, 95 percent CI, −1.59 to −0.57; p<0.001). On the other hand, the score was positively associated with BMI (EE, 0.03 per 1 kg/m2, 95 percent CI, 0.001–0.06; p=0.04) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score (EE, 0.12, 95 percent CI, 0.08–0.16; p<0.001).

The present data may have important implications, such that fibromyalgia patients who use tobacco may benefit from early identification and timely quitting with the aim of bringing down pain and improving overall quality of life.

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