Smoking, the Risk Factor of Rheumatism

Published on October 21st, 2009 14:21
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In Pune city were investigated 8,000 people. At the end of investigation researchers found that about 10 percent complained of one or the other kind of rheumatic pain. They also revealed that most of the people surveyed consumed tobacco products also, that’s mean that tobacco use is also a main factor of rheumatism.

In general there is no single disease called rheumatism. The word covers a whole range of conditions, all of which cause pain. These conditions affect the joints, the muscles and the ligaments. And nearly all of them are much commoner in middle aged and elderly people.

The rheumatologist Arvind Chopra said: “The study to measure load of rheumatism on the Indian population at 17 towns showed that at least 10-15 percent of the population suffers from arthritis or some form of rheumatism. And the use of cigarettes arose as a leading risk factor for rheumatic pains. This public health issue is yet to be recognized by the Indian medical faculty and community.”

Mr. Chopra has combined his skills with that of the gram Panchayat at Bhigwan village, where also were investigated 9,000 people, for to create a remarkable model of rheumatic disease. The Bhigwan COPCORD (Community Oriented program and control of Rheumatic Diseases) program has entered 13 successful years of providing free of cost arthritis diagnosis and treatment services and getting community research data. 15 percent people surveyed in Bhigwan village had complained of rheumatic pain.

“Started in 1996 as the single Indian program on arthritis, the program has covered a population of 9,000 in village Bhigwan and over 45,000 in the neighboring 187 villages,” explained Chopra.

However started in over 19 countries worldwide by the WHO- ILAR (International league of rheumatology) as the arthritis program firstly targeting rural communities in developing countries, it is only the Bhigwan project that has continued outside the primary stage of population survey for to measure community illness burden.

The WHO used the Bhigwan data for to enterprise the rheumatic burden in South East Asia in its original technical research publication titled “The Burden of Musculoskeletal conditions at the start of the new millennium”.

The Bhigwan model has been used for several population-based rheumatic musculoskeletal studies in Jammu, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Ralegaon Siddhi, Manipur, Bikaner, Patiala, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozikode, and over 35,000 people have already been studied.

And for this time also was found that almost 2/3 of the patients were suffering from degenerative sickness and soft tissue rheumatism disorders. Inflammatory arthritis is characterized by pain swelling and sometimes crippling deformities was diagnosed in less than 10% of community cases, reported Mr. Chopra.

Researchers concluded that the large majority of Indian patients suffer from soft tissue pains and rheumatism and degenerative disorders of the spines and knees. And they found some evidences that use of tobacco in any form may increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. There is also some evidence that smoking increases the likelihood of severe rheumatoid arthritis.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub. All rights reserved.


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