Childhood secondhand smoke exposure tied to arthritis in adulthood

UNTV News   •   September 29, 2018   •   8468

A man smokes a cigarette along a road in Mumbai, India, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

(Reuters Health) – Women exposed to secondhand smoke as children may be more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than people who didn’t breathe cigarette fumes growing up, a French study suggests.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disorder that causes debilitating swelling and pain in the joints. It’s less common than osteoarthritis, which happens when cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time.

Smoking has long been linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. But the new study suggests that secondhand smoke may also increase this risk.

Altogether, the study involved 71,248 women, including 371 who eventually developed rheumatoid arthritis. Current and former smokers who were not exposed to smoke as children were 38 percent more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who had never smoked. When current or former smokers were also exposed to secondhand smoke during childhood, they were 67 percent more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Among women who never smoked at all, exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood was associated with a 43 percent higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with no secondhand smoke exposure growing up, although this difference was not statistically significant, meaning it was too small to rule out the possibility it was due to chance.

“In adults exposed to active smoking, the mechanism leading to rheumatoid arthritis onset is quite well understood,” said study co-author Dr. Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault of the INSERM epidemiology and population health research center at Paris-Sud University in Villejuif, France.

Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the immune system that’s supposed to attack invaders like bacteria and viruses mistakenly attacks healthy cells. In adult smokers, changes in some proteins in the air cells of the lungs are thought to trigger this autoimmune activity, leading to rheumatoid arthritis, Boutron-Ruault said by email.

“It is highly likely that the phenomenon described in adult smokers occurs similarly in passively exposed children,” Boutron-Ruault added. “The triggering of autoimmunity in children might not be restricted to rheumatoid arthritis risk, and could possibly increase the risk of other autoimmune diseases.”

For the study, researchers examined survey data collected every three years, starting in the 1980s. Participants were 50 years old on average when they joined the study and about 54 percent of them had never smoked. About 14 percent were current smokers and 32 percent were former smokers.

The study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how secondhand smoke exposure during childhood might cause rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers also relied on women to report their smoking history and tobacco exposure during childhood, and self-reported information may not be as reliable as data from lab tests or medical records.

It’s also possible that secondhand smoke exposure during childhood increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis just because it leads to more cumulative years of smoke exposure among people who smoke as adults, said Jill Norris, a researcher at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora.

While it’s not clear that avoiding smoke exposure during childhood can prevent rheumatoid arthritis in the future, there are many other good reasons not to expose kids to secondhand smoke, Norris, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“The general advice is that if a parent is going to smoke, they should not smoke in the home or in the car when their children are riding with them,” Norris said. “It is also important to ask any caregivers (nannies, relatives, etc) to do the same.”

SOURCE: Rheumatology, online August 14, 2018.

Scared of nCoV? Boost your immune system. Here’s how.

Marje Pelayo   •   February 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – “You are what you eat.” This proverbial saying speaks of the notion that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food.

The kind of food that we eat greatly affects our immune system, says Dr. Marc Dexter Macalintal, a lifestyle medicine specialist of the Philippine College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Maraming sakit ang mape-prevent natin (A lot of diseases will be prevented) if we have a healthy immune system,” he said.

Eating processed food and the so-called “fast food” does not provide balanced nutrition, he added.

Tamang pagkain sana. Mas maraming plants, mas maraming fruits and vegetables kaysa sa mga meats na saturated fats ang binibigay sa atin, (Proper food. More plants, more fruits and vegetables instead of meat which mostly gives us saturated fat),” he advised.

Dr. Macalintal recommends the five pillars of nutrition which may help strengthen one’s immune system.

First is the intake of what he calls ‘rainbow foods’ or a variety of vegetables and fruits.

“No virus can penetrate a healthy cell. No virus can penetrate an optimized cell,” Dr. Macalintal noted.

Kung ang mga virus ay nandyan, hindi sila makakapasok sa atin kung optimized yung katawan natin which is made up of cell. We suggest that the color of the rainbows, ilagay natin sa plato gamit yung mga prutas at gulay na yan (Virus will not be able to penetrate us if our body is optimized which is made up of cell. We suggest that the color of the rainbows, put on a plate a variety of fruits and vegetables),” he added.

Second is to do an exercise routine of 150 minutes in a week or a regular 30-minute brisk walking daily.

Third is having enough sleep of seven to eight hours.

Fourth is avoiding vices and doing away from stressful works.

Fifth is taking proper food supplements, of course, under doctor’s supervision.

Ang supplements natin, mayroon siyang tinatawag na overdose pa rin (Food supplements may also lead to overdosage),” Dr. Macalintal cautioned.

Maaaring mag-overdose ka pa rin (You can be overdosed) which can lead to more harm than good,” he stressed.

Dr. Macalintal maintained that proper amounts of fruits and vegetables including legumes, nuts, and grains should be included to ensure proper nutrition and a healthy diet. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte signs law on higher excise tax on tobacco

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 26, 2019

FILE PHOTO: An illustration picture shows cigarettes in their pack, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Illustration

President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Thursday (July 25) the law imposing higher excise taxes on tobacco products, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has confirmed.

“To address the urgent need to protect the right to health of the Filipino people and to maintain a broader fiscal space to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act, the President has signed into law HB no. 8677/ SB no. 2233 Increasing the Excise Tax on Tabacco Products,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, health advocates including the Sin Tax Coalition lauded the signing of the law on increasing tobacco taxes.

“This latest tax increase represents another positive step in protecting more Filipinos from the harmful effects of cigarette smoking,” said Dr. Anthony Leachon, health advocate and former independent director of PhilHealth.

READ: Country in a ‘win-win-win’ situation with increased cigarette tax—WHO

Under the new law, Republic Act 11346, tax rates for cigarettes will increase to P45 this 2020, from P35 per pack. There will be additional P5 for each succeeding year.

Duterte to sign tobacco excise tax this week

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2019

Courtesy : Pixabay

President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the proposed tobacco excise tax law this week according to the Department of Finance (DOF) on Wednesday (July 24).

Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua said the law is ready for signature and it will lapse into law by July 27.

“I was told it would be signed this week because that is a priority measure certified urgent by the President in the previous Congress and mentioned by the President in the SONA (state of the nation address),” he said.

READ: DOH lauds tobacco tax bill passage in Congress

Based on the proposed law P10 will be the added tax to a pack of cigarette starting next year and it will increase by P5 in succeeding years.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)


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