Smoking and muscuoloskeletal symptoms

In the year 2007 the author, Ingibjörg Loftsdóttir and Stefán Hrafn Jónsson, conducted a study at the University of Akureyri, Iceland on smoking an musculoskeletal symptoms

Symptoms from the musculoskeletal system, e.g. back problems, widespread pain and muscle aches, are common problems and often the cause for absence from work and diminished quality of life. The objective of the study was to explore if there is a connection between smoking and symptoms from the musculoskeletal system like some other research had implied.

Data and methods: The research was based on data from a questionnaire from the year 2000 administered by the Icelandic Research Centre for Occupational Health & Working Life among those employed in geriatric care facilities employing ten or more workers. The relationship between symptoms from the musculoskeletal system and smoking was explored while accounting for biasing factors such as the influence of body mass index, age, physical workload, profession, marital status, exercise, age and sex using multiple regression.

Results: Those who smoked daily and those who had stopped smoking had significantly more symptoms from the musculoskeletal system than those who had never smoked. Those who smoked less than daily did not have significantly more musculoskeletal symptoms than those who did not smoke.

Conclusion: Even though smoking only explained 2% of the variability of symptoms from the musculoskeletal system this explanation matters quite a bit in light of the fact that 14.2% of the nation still smokes daily according to a survey from April of this year (2012). The morbidity of musculoskeletal symptoms among the nation is also high as prior research has shown or 56% among men and 65% among women.




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