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Heavy cigarette smoking and RA

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(Masi AT, Aldag JC, Malamet RL. Ann Rheum Dis 2001;60:1154.)

The authors of this letter, in a further analysis of their data, found that four heavy smokers in the control group were incorrectly included in the 168 subjects matched to the 42 pre-RA cases who had baseline negative rheumatoid factor (RF−) status. They should be correctly reassigned to the 48 matched controls for the 12 pre-RA cases who had baseline positive rheumatoid factor (RF+) status.

The correct assignments place 11 (23%) heavy smokers in the 48 controls for the 12 pre-RA RF+ cases. Those 12 cases include two (17%) heavy smokers. The 168 controls for the 42 pre-RA cases who had baseline negative rheumatoid factor (RF−) status should correctly include eight (5%) heavy smokers. Those 42 cases include 11 (26%) heavy smokers. The new correct figures are shown in bold in the table.

The correct assignments strengthen the findings in this prospective, community based study that baseline heavy cigarette smoking was an independent risk factor from baseline positive rheumatoid factor status.

Corrections printed in the journal also appear on the Annals website www.annrheumdis.com and are linked to the original publication.

Table 1

Numbers of pre-RA cases and matched controls reporting heavy cigarette smoking (CS 30+/day) at baseline by relevant categories and odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for developing ACR+ rheumatoid arthritis

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  • Correspondence
    A T MASI J C ALDAG R L MALAMET