Advertisement

How does smoking affect people with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who smoke appear to experience a more rapid progression of their disease, according to a report in an issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the Journals of the American Medical Association. Cigarette smokers are at higher risk of developing MS, according to background information in the article. However, the effect of smoking on the progression of MS remains uncertain.

Brian C. Healy, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues studied 1,465 people with MS who visited a referral center. A group of 891 people was assessed over time to evaluate the rate of conversion from relapsing­remitting MS to secondary­progressive MS (steady decline that develops after a period of relapsing­remitting symptoms). During an average of 3.34 years, 72 people (20 of 154 smokers, 20 of 237 ex­smokers and 32 of 500 never­smokers) experienced this progression.

“The conversion from relapsing­remitting MS to secondary­progressive MS occurred faster in current smokers compared with never­smokers but was similar in ex­smokers and never­smokers,” the study authors write.

Continue Learning about Multiple Sclerosis Causes & Risk Factors

What are the chances of my child getting multiple sclerosis if I have it?
Multiple Sclerosis FoundationMultiple Sclerosis Foundation
The risk of your child developing multiple sclerosis (MS), although higher than the general populati...
More Answers
Is too much sexual activity an overexertion for someone with MS?
Louis RosnerLouis Rosner
Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) want to know if too much sexual activity is considered over...
More Answers
Will I Die from Multiple Sclerosis?
Will I Die from Multiple Sclerosis?
What New Drug Therapies Treat Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms?
What New Drug Therapies Treat Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.