Smoking may help you feel better or may work as a stress buster, although you cannot deny that there are probably more disadvantages of smoking than benefits. Smoking is associated with a host of health hazards, mainly cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease etc. Well, there’s another habit that has been added to this list.

Researchers from Umea University in Sweden have published a study in the journal Rheumatology which states that, if you are a smoker and love to eat a high-salt diet, you may be at a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


The study focused on 386 individuals who had stated their dietary habits as part of a community intervention program for a median of 7.7 years before the onset of RA symptoms.

“Our findings suggest that more than half (54 percent) of the increased risk from smoking in the development of rheumatoid arthritis is due to interaction with sodium intake,” said Bjorn Sundstrom from the department of public health and clinical medicine at Umea University, Sweden.

“The influence of sodium intake on smoking as a risk factor for RA is also supported by the fact that we could not identify any significant proportion of risk from smoking in individuals with a low sodium intake,” Sundstrom stated.

“The finding of sodium being a risk factor for the development of RA among smokers is intriguing, as it may explain discrepancies in previous studies of diet as a risk factor for RA,” Sundstrom emphasized.

Source: IANS