Smoking cigarettes is a significant risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) inhibitors in RA patients taking these treatments, according to results of two studies presented today at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy. A further study has shown that smoking interferes with the expression of several genes which, when over-expressed can contribute to processes which exacerbate disease activity.
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