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Association of Smoking and Chronic Pain Syndromes in Kentucky Women

      Abstract

      The objective of this project was to determine the relationship between cigarette smoking and the reporting of chronic pain syndromes among participants in the Kentucky Women’s Health Registry. Data was analyzed on 6,092 women over 18 years of age who responded to survey questions on pain and smoking. The chronic pain syndromes included in the analysis were fibromyalgia, sciatica, chronic neck pain, chronic back pain, joint pain, chronic head pain, nerve problems, and pain all over the body. Analyses controlled for age, body mass index, and Appalachian versus non-Appalachian county of residence. Results showed that women who were daily smokers reported more chronic pain (defined as the presence of any reported chronic pain syndromes) than women who were never smokers (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.04 and 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.67, 2.49). An increased risk was also seen for “some-day” smokers (aOR 1.68, 95% CI 1.24, 2.27), and former smokers (aOR 1.20, 95% CI 1.06, 1.37), though with less of an association in the latter group. This study provides evidence of an association between chronic pain and cigarette smoking that is reduced in former smokers.

      Perspective

      This paper presents the association between smoking and musculoskeletal pain syndromes among Kentucky women. This finding may provide additional opportunities for intervention in patients with chronic pain.

      Key words

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