When passive smoking in childhood increases the risk of autoimmune disease

DECRYPTION – Being exposed to cigarette smoke at an early age promotes the onset of rheumatoid arthritis decades later.

It is known that smoking greatly increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis later, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. But simple exposure to tobacco smoke during childhood is enough to increase this risk, reveal two large prospective epidemiological studies.

The first, published in 2019, was conducted by French researchers with 99,000 members of the MGEN (E3N cohort), whose state of health was monitored every two years over a period of twenty-three years. “It has shown for the first time that passive smoking experienced in childhood is as high a risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis as smoking in adulthood, these two risks cumulating if the person starts smoking once. adult”, specifies the Pr Raphaèle Seror, first author of the study and rheumatologist at Bicêtre hospital. In adults, on the other hand, passive smoking does not significantly increase this risk. The investigation also indicated that

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