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The frequency of smoking in fibromyalgia patients and its association with symptoms


The objective of the study was to determine the frequency of smoking in fibromyalgia (FM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and investigate its association with the symptoms of FM. We included age-matched 302 FM (289 F, 13 M), and 115 (105 F, 10 M) RA patients. All patients were questioned about smoking and the severity of their chronic widespread pain (CWP) and symptoms of FM by using a visual analog scale (VAS, 0–10) and FM impact questionnaire. In addition, patients were asked questions about depression and anxiety. The frequency of smoking in FM patients (77 subjects, 25.5%) tended to be higher than in RA patients (19 subjects, 16.5%) (P = 0.05). When the features of smoker FM patients were compared to others, it was observed that the frequencies of subjects with an education duration >9 years (P < 0.001) and subjects with an history of psychiatric therapy (P = 0.01) and alcohol consumption (P = 0.013) were higher. The mean age of FM patients with smoking (P = 0.002) was lower; the duration of FM (P = 0.024) was shorter; and the scores of CWP severity (P = 0.05), unrestorative sleepiness (P = 0.017), paresthesia (P = 0.038) and anxiety-depression (P = 0.007) were higher. An important proportion of FM patients, nearly one-fourth, were re-smokers. Smoker FM patients had higher education level, and the severity of their FM-related symptoms like CWP and their anxiety-depression scores were higher.

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Correspondence to Ömer Nuri Pamuk.

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Pamuk, Ö.N., Dönmez, S. & Çakır, N. The frequency of smoking in fibromyalgia patients and its association with symptoms. Rheumatol Int 29, 1311–1314 (2009).

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  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic widespread pain
  • Smoking
  • Rheumatoid arthritis