Data from two large studies, one from France and the other from the University of Rochester, has shown that cigarette smoking worsens the course of ankylosing spondylitis causing earlier development of inflammatory low back pain, more inflammation, and a higher likelihood of developing x-ray changes showing damage to the sacroiliac joints in the spine.
For a long time we have known that smoking causes lung disease and this can aggravate the restrictive chest component in ankylosing spondylitis. Now we have more evidence of the deleterious effects.
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