Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Smoking

Concerning fibromyalgia and smoking there has been an interesting poster at the 2011 ACR Meeting in Chicago. The poster has been on display on Tuesday, the 8th of November. Jenna Goesling and colleagues looked into smoking and fibromyalgia. They found higher rates of smoking in patients with fibromyalgia than in patients not suffering from fibromyalgia. My interpretation is that smoking is used by patients to alleviate pain but leads to the opposite; same as for stress, which serves patients not to think of pain on a short term basis, but which enhance pain in the long run. And smoking was “associated with greater pain, more interference, anxiety, and depression.” We are already used to tell our patients to stop smoking, but now we have a sound scientific basis to do so.

Here is a part of the abstract of the mentioned poster shown at the 2011 ACR Meeting in Chicago:

Smoking and Fibromyalgia: The Need for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment.
Jenna Goesling1, Chad M. Brummett1, Kevin Rakovitis1, Daniel J. Clauw2 and Afton L. Hassett3. 1University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, 2University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 3University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
Conclusion: Smoking rates were higher among patients who met survey criteria for FM compared to patient’s who did not meet FM criteria. When comparing only patients who met FM criteria, smoking was associated with greater pain, more interference, anxiety, and depression. These results suggest that smokers who met survey criteria for FM have several comorbid factors that likely interfere with functioning. In conclusion, a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of chronic pain among current smokers, especially in patients who meet FM criteria, should include both cessation advice and treatment for co-occurring mood disorders. It follows that further consideration of the complex relation between smoking, mood and pain may help inform treatment decisions and interventions among patients who meet survey criteria for FM. Future studies will focus on differences in post-treatment outcomes between smokers and non-smokers who meet FM criteria.

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