Background:

Tobacco smoking is an important, modifiable, environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS) with a relevant impact on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We aimed to assess the use of tobacco in individuals with MS from Latin America (LATAM), and its impact on HRQOL.

Methods:

We conducted a cross-sectional study based on a LATAM web-based survey. Demographics, social and clinical data, information on physical disability, and HRQOL scores were collected using the MS Impact Scale-29 (MSIS-29), the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety (HADS-A). Individuals with MS were classified at the time of the survey as follows: never-smokers (ie, patients who reported they had never smoked), past smokers (those who had smoked tobacco but not during the past year), or current smokers. For the analysis, groups were compared.

Results:

425 patients (74.6% female) from 17 LATAM countries were included, mean age 43.6 ± 11 years and median Expanded Disability Status Scale score 2. There were 122 (28.7%) current smokers, 178 (41.9%) past smokers, and 125 (30.4%) never-smokers. Current smokers had significantly higher MSIS-29 physical (physical worsening), FSS (fatigue), and HADS-A (anxiety) scores compared with past and never-smokers after being adjusted for covariables. No significant differences were observed in any of the other analyzed demographic, clinical, and therapeutic variables. Thirty percent of the current and past smokers groups had never had their neurologists discuss smoking cessation with them.

Conclusions:

Individuals with MS who were current smokers had higher fatigue and anxiety scores and worse HRQOL compared with past and never-smokers.

This content is only available as a PDF.