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Smoking - Could Make You Weak in Your Knees

Smoking was never known to be good. And the list of harmful consequences due to smoking seem to be ever growing. A school of thought, courtesy- research from the Boston// University School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic, has revealed the heightened risk of cartilage loss, coupled with excruciating pain in men who smoke, and suffer knee osteoarthritis.

For 30 months, researchers tracked 159 men with knee osteoarthritis. Nineteen men of the group were smokers. After accommodating the study results with factors of age, body mass index and cartilage scores, they discovered that smokers portrayed an enhanced risk of experiencing cartilage loss and felt more pain as compared to men who did not smoke.

Dr. David Felson, director of the Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit and professor of medicine and public health at Boston University School of Medicine, said ‘Our findings also suggest smoking plays a role in the progression of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and, therefore, is a modifiable risk factor with important public health implications.’

However, the reason behind the increase in pain was not clear. He added, ‘Instead, smoking may have direct effects on other articular structures mediating knee pain or may modify the threshold for musculoskeletal pain among smokers.’

Researchers felt the need to probe further with a view to understanding this knee-jerk reaction to smoking, in men suffering knee osteoarthritis.

The study is published in the January edition of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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