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Smoking Is Associated with Pain in All Body Regions, with Greatest Influence on Spinal Pain

PainSci » bibliography » Smuck et al 2020
Tags: etiology, spine, pro

Seven articles on PainSci cite Smuck 2020: 1. Pain & Injury Survival Tips2. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain3. The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain4. The Complete Guide to Chronic Tension Headaches5. 38 Surprising Causes of Pain6. Smoking and Chronic Pain7. Vulnerability to Chronic Pain

PainSci commentary on Smuck 2020: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

This 2020 study analyzed survey data for 2300 Americans from 2004, looking for the relationship between smoking and pain and finding strong links. Smokers had close to a three times greater risk of spinal pain than non-smokers, with headache almost as bad. Most other kinds of pain were around twice as likely to occur in smokers.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: Examine the interrelationship between smoking and pain in the US population.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional population-based study.

SETTING: Nationwide survey.

METHODS: Comprehensive pain reports categorically defined as head, spine, trunk, and limb pain; smoking history; demographics; medical history from a total of 2,307 subjects from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey obtained from the Centers for Disease Control were analyzed. Unpaired t tests were used to analyze independent continuous variables, and chi-square tests were used to analyze categorical variables between smoker and nonsmoker groups. Weighted multivariate logistic regression analyses determined the association of current smoking with the presence of pain in various body regions.

RESULTS: Smoking is most strongly associated with spine pain (odds ratio [OR] = 2.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.21-3.77), followed by headache (OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.73-3.53), trunk pain (OR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.45-2.74), and limb pain (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.45-2.73).

CONCLUSIONS: Current smoking is associated with pain in every region of the body. This association is strongest for spine and head pain. Given that pain is a strong motivator and that current smoking was associated with pain in all body regions, we recommend that these results be used to further raise public awareness about the potential harms of smoking.

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