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Arthritis Care: Quit smoking to offset arthritis risk

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Long-term smoking cessation in women was associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to those who had recently quit, a new study has shown.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.

The study showed that the risk of seropositive RA – when patients have antibodies in their blood that help identify the disease – was reduced by 37 per cent for those who sustained smoking cessation for 30 or more years compared with those who recently quit smoking.

“Our study is one of the first to show that a behaviour change of prolonged smoking cessation may actually delay or even prevent the onset of seropositive RA, suggesting lifestyle changes may modify risk for development of a systemic rheumatic disease,” said Jeffrey Sparks from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US.

Patients who have seropositive RA tend to have a more severe disease course with more joint deformities, disability, and inflammation outside of the joints.

On the other hand, there was no association of smoking with seronegative RA – when patients have no antibodies in their blood that help identify the disease – suggesting a different pathogenesis than seropositive RA, said the study, published in the journal, Arthritis Care & Research.

Smoking has been known to be a major risk factor for various diseases including heart disease and cancer.

According to the World Health Organisation, rheumatoid arthritis tends to strike during the most productive years of adulthood, between the ages of 20 and 40 and is more common among women.

For the study, the researchers included 230,732 women.

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Is underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim and his wife corona Infected?

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Even as intelligence agencies report that India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim and his wife have tested positive for Covid-19 and are admitted in Army Hospital, Karachi, Dawood’s brother Anees Ibrahim, who controls D-company’s underworld operations and finance, denies such reports.

Speaking from undisclosed location over phone,Anees told IANS that though corona virus is a dreaded epidemic, his brother Dawood and the entire family was not affected by it and are putting up at their home.

In a rare conversation, the mafia don also admitted to running s in the UAE and Pakistan. Intelligence reports had earlier said that Dawood and his wife have tested positive for corona virus. The reports also revealed that his personal staff and guards have been quarantined.

Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, patronised by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is believed to be residing in Karachi and is accused in several cases of cross border crimes including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

For years, Islamabad has repeatedly denied Dawood and his amily’s presence in Pakistan. D-company’s sharp shooter and in-charge of extortion and betting syndicate, Chhota Shakeel also resides in Karachi. “Bhai (Dawood) is fine and Shakeel is also fine.

No one has tested positive for corona virus. No one from our family is admitted in hospital,” said Anees, who chose to be silent when asked about his current location.

Settled in Pakistan since 1994, Dawood’s family in Karachi also includes his daughter Mahrukh, who is married to the son of former Pakistan star cricketer, Javed Miandad.

D-company’s strategist Anees has been in news since early 1990s when he reportedly got a vehicle loaded with arms parked in filmstar Sanjay Dutt’s residence in Mumbai.

He was also accused of funding Bollywood films and running betting syndicates in cricket from his base in Dubai. A couple of years ago, he was reportedly detained in Saudi Arabia but managed to escape from Indian agencies’ dragnet.

In the brief telephonic conversation, Anees admitted that the D-company runs businesses through Pakistan and Dubai. Asked about running luxury hotels in UAE and having big construction projects in Pakistan and other countries, Anees did not deny and said: “To kya karte (then why should we not do it?).” He also admitted that D-company runs transport business too.

Intelligence dossier submitted by Indian government to various international agencies including the UN and Interpol reveals that D-company has a major transport business running across Karachi airport to Afghanistan. The truckers employed by D-company also help the don in trafficking of contraband heroin through a well-oiled chain of carriers on Afghan-Pakistan border.

Of late,Dawood and his brother have also invested in hotel and resorts business in Pakistan and the UAE. The don also owns several malls in Sindh province, beside a paper mill in Kotri, near Hyderabad (Pakistan).

Though IANS authenticates its telephonic conversation with Anees Ibrahim, the news agency has no independent sources in Karachi to deny or confirm Dawood and his wife’s admission in a Pakistan Army hospital due to corona virus.

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