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Smoking Associated With Lupus Erythematosus

Last Updated: September 23, 2009.

Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for lupus erythematosus but alcohol consumption is not, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for lupus erythematosus but alcohol consumption is not, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Peggy Boeckler, M.D., of the Universite de Strasbourg in France, and colleagues conducted a study of 108 patients with lupus erythematosus and 216 controls recruited from three French university hospitals.

Smoking was reported by 79 (73.1 percent) of the patients and 107 (49.5 percent) of the controls, but the extent of alcohol consumption was similar in both groups, the researchers found. Of the smoking patients, 72 (91.1 percent) were already smokers before the first manifestation of lupus erythematosus, with a mean delay between smoking initiation and onset of symptoms of 14.1 years, the investigators discovered.

"The risk conferred by cigarette smoking seems highest in patients who meet fewer than four American College of Rheumatology criteria and/or who do not have anti-nuclear DNA antibodies," the authors write. "The current view of the etiology of lupus erythematosus is that several environmental factors act in a genetically predisposed individual to induce the disease. Our data suggest that smoking is associated with an increased risk of lupus erythematosus, whereas alcohol consumption is not."

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