Smoking May Cut Life Expectancy in ALS
A new study shows smoking is linked to reduced survival in patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers found that being a current smoker negatively affects ALS prognosis, independent of age, sex, and other known modifiers, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and genetic status. The new research makes at least two important points, said study author Adriano Chiò, professor of neurology, University of Torino, Italy. The first is that it suggests that smoking not only is a risk factor for development of ALS but also modifies the prognosis of the disease, probably because it affects the genome.
@kukum All patients in one region of northern Italy diagnosed with ALS from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011 (n = 712) were eligible for the study. Of these, 650 (91.3%) were included in the analysis. Researchers assessed disease severity with the ALS Functional Rating Scale revised (ALSFRS-R). The decline rate was the mean monthly number of points on the score lost from symptom onset to the time of diagnosis. Investigators also collected information on smoking status at the time of diagnosis. Of the total, 18.6% were current smokers, 28.0% were former smokers, and 53.4% were never-smokers. The study found that current smokers were younger at disease onset (64.9 years) than former smokers (67.6 years) and those who had never smoked (66.3 years).