Effect of Smoking on the Development of Arthritis and Osteoporosis in the Elderly Population of Ireland: A Cross-Sectional Study

Ahmed W.I. Alanqar1, Faris Soloman Almadi1*, Yousef M. Waly1, Ali Al-Sabti2

1Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Bahrain. 2University College Dublin

*Correspondence Email Address: [email protected]


Background: Arthritis and osteoporosis are two musculoskeletal disorders which run rampant worldwide. It is predicted that tobacco smoke has direct and indirect effects on the skeletal system, which ultimately both lead to the imbalance of osteoblastic and osteoblastic function. This in turn, decreases bone mass and increases bone resorption leading to skeletal disease. Objective: To investigate the relationship between smoking and arthritis and osteoporosis in people aged over 50 years in Ireland. Methods: This is a cross-sectional risk analysis of osteoporosis and arthritis from smoking and the associated factors. The data utilized is from wave one of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). Variables including smoking, age, BMI, arthritis, osteoporosis, exercise, and others were collected and modified to fit the analysis to be conducted. The prevalence of arthritis and osteoporosis in smokers and non-smokers was calculated, and relative risk was considered. Finally, binominal logistic regression was done to see the effect of the confounding variables on the likelihood of reporting arthritis or osteoporosis. Results: In this analysis, the sample of 8,504 people aged 50, 56% of them are identified as smokers for over a year. 27.4% of smokers suffered from arthritis compared to 26.2% of non-smokers. The difference is not statistically significant [X2 (1, N = 8504) = 1.56, P = 0.212]. The relative risk ratio calculated was also insignificant. Smoking was then divided into different ranges (ex. Smoked for 1-5 years) and measured against arthritis and similarly for osteoporosis. Significance was found in 23.3% in individuals who smoked for 11-15 years suffered from arthritis compared to 26.2% in non-smokers. For osteoporosis, it decreased rates by 2.5%.  This contraindication required for a binomial logistic regression to be carried through to evaluate the effects of confounding. For arthritis, small effect of smoking was observed to be significant. For osteoporosis, smoking was not significant when other variables were considered. Conclusion: Smoking for a period of about 5 years and over increases the odds for arthritis, but the relationship between osteoporosis and smoking is not significant when other factors are taken in.

Keywords: Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Smoking, Tobacco

Citation: Ahmed W.I. Alanqar, Faris Soloman Almadi, Yousef M. Waly, Ali Al-Sabti. Effect of Smoking on the Development of Arthritis and Osteoporosis in the Elderly Population of Ireland: A Cross-Sectional Study. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2022; 10 (2): 37-60.

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.14206/canad.j.clin.nutr.2022.02.04