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Smoking Status & Pain in Veterans with HCV

Pain Med; ePub 2018 Sep 7; Lynch, et al

Among veterans with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, current smoking is more strongly associated with pain intensity, a new study found. The cross-sectional analysis of a cohort study included veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) who had at least 1 visit to a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) primary care clinic between 2001 and 2014. Pain intensity was reported on a 0-10 numeric scale and was categorized as none/mild (0-3) and moderate/severe (4-10). Among the details:

  • Among 654,841 OEF/OIF/OND veterans (median age 26 years), 2,942 (0.4%) were diagnosed with HCV.
  • Overall, moderate/severe pain intensity was reported in 36% of veterans, with 37% as current smokers.
  • The adjusted odds of reporting moderate/severe pain intensity were 1.23 times higher for those with HCV and 1.26 times higher for current smokers.
  • Among veterans with HCV, smoking had a significantly greater association with moderate/severe pain (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.50) than in veterans without HCV (aOR=1.26).


Lynch SM, Wilson SM, DeRycke EC, et al. Impact of cigarette smoking status on pain intensity among veterans with and without hepatitis C. [Published online ahead of print September 7, 2018]. Pain Med. doi:10.1093/pm/pny146.

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