Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smokers With Common Autoimmune Disorder At Higher Risk For Skin Damage

Date:
November 3, 2009
Source:
McGill University Health Centre
Summary:
As if there weren't enough reasons to stop smoking, researchers have just found another. A new study has clearly linked skin damage and rashes to smoking in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

As if there weren't enough reasons to stop smoking, a team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) have just found another. A study led by Dr. Christian A Pineau, Co-Director of the Lupus and Vasculitis clinic at the MUHC, has clearly linked skin damage and rashes to smoking in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.

SLE is a long-term autoimmune disorder affecting about one in every 2000 people. About 90 per cent of SLE patients are women, many of them young. Symptoms are caused by an overactive immune system, and the disease can cause inflammation and damage in almost any organ system, including the skin.

"Up to 85 per cent of people with SLE develop skin involvement at some point," explains Dr. Pineau. "Our study shows that the risk of skin damage such as permanent hair loss and scarring from skin inflammation is significantly increased in smokers. So is the rate of active lupus rash."

While there is no cure for SLE, symptoms can be treated with drugs. "However, smoking may interfere with the effectiveness of some medications used to control skin disease in SLE," says Dr. Sasha Bernatsky, study co-author and physician in the MUHC's Rheumatology Division. "This may be part of the reason why smoking heightens skin damage in SLE.

"Even in healthy people, cigarette smoke has both immediate and long-term effects on the skin, its blood vessels and on hair follicles," she adds. "Exposure to tobacco promotes the release of cytokines -- substances in the body that increase immune system activity and inflammation. In fact, some researchers believe that cigarette smoking is actually a risk factor for SLE in the first place."

The study underlines how vital it is for patients with SLE to remain smoke-free. "We already knew these people should not smoke, due to increased risk of adverse events like heart disease," Dr. Pineau says. "Now it appears we have another reason to emphasize smoking cessation. If we can convince people with SLE to stop smoking, we may be able to help them achieve better disease control, and better outcomes."

Dr. Christian A. Pineau is a researcher in the RI-MUHC Musculoskeletal Disorders Axis, as well as co-director of the Lupus and Vasculitis clinic at the MUHC. He is also the Rheumatology Program Director and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Sasha Bernatsky is a researcher in the RI-MUHC Musculoskeletal Disorders Axis, a physician in the Rheumatology Division and a member of the Clinical Epidemiology Division at the MUHC. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and an Associate Member in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

This study was funded by a grant from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR), the Fonds de la Recherche en Santι du Quιbec (FRSQ) and the Singer Family Fund for Lupus Research

This article was co-authored by Dr. Irina Turchin, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Dr. Sasha Bernatsky, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine; Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Research Institute, Dr. Ann e. Clarke, Mr. Yvan St-Pierre, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Research Institute, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, Dr. Christian A. Pineau, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University Health Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University Health Centre. "Smokers With Common Autoimmune Disorder At Higher Risk For Skin Damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102172449.htm>.
McGill University Health Centre. (2009, November 3). Smokers With Common Autoimmune Disorder At Higher Risk For Skin Damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102172449.htm
McGill University Health Centre. "Smokers With Common Autoimmune Disorder At Higher Risk For Skin Damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102172449.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins