Ann Rheum Dis 63:1001-1002 doi:10.1136/ard.2003.015123
  • Letter

Association between bronchiectasis and smoking in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  1. V V Kaushik1,
  2. D Hutchinson2,
  3. J Desmond3,
  4. M P Lynch1,
  5. J K Dawson1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Merseyside, UK
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, Royal Cornwall Hospitals, Truro, Cornwall, UK
  3. 3Department of Radiology, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Merseyside, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J K Dawson
    Department of Rheumatology, St Helens Hospital, Marshalls Cross Road, St Helens, Merseyside WA9 3DA, UK;
  • Accepted 27 August 2003

There is a well recognised association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and bronchiectasis. Walker observed a 10-fold increased prevalence of bronchiectasis in RA.1 The increased incidence of pulmonary disease in his study could not be explained by the greater susceptibility to infection by patients with RA because the symptoms of bronchiectasis preceded those of arthritis in the majority of the cases. Earlier reports found the prevalence of bronchiectasis in RA to be between 1 and 10%.1 However, with the advent of high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the lung, later studies reported a prevalence of 25–30%.2,3 This is important as HRCT is a more sensitive method of detecting bronchiectasis, and it is generally accepted …