MS patients who smoke may be at an increased risk for having mobility problems and for having a lower quality of life compared with non-smokers, according to the results of a study published January 15, 2014, in Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
The study enrolled an international sample of patients with MS through Web 2.0 platforms. Patients were surveyed about their smoking habits, alcohol use, disease activity, disability, health related quality of life, and other disease factors in order to determine the association of smoking and alcohol consumption with major morbidity outcomes.
Of the 2469 patients included in the study, 11.7% were current smokers and 40.3% were former smokers. After controlling for age, gender, and alcohol use, smokers were 90% more likely to have major mobility requirements than patients who never smoked. Smokers also reported significantly lower quality of life compared with patients who had never smoked and with those who had quit smoking. The results also indicated that heavier smoking was associated with larger decreases in quality of life.
In contrast, 61.5% of patients drank less than 15 g of alcohol per week and only 0.8% drank large amounts. Those who drank a moderate amount of alcohol had increased quality of life and a 41% decrease in the risk for significant disability.