Sunday, 16 May 2021 | 16:18 WIB

Smoking Worsens Graves Disease

Smoking Worsens Graves Disease (illustration: ajp)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Professor of Universitas Indonesia (UI), Prof. Dr. dr. Imam Subekti SpPD, KEMD, said smoking worsens the condition of sufferers of Graves' disease. Graves disease is known to occupy an important position, as it makes up about a quarter of all thyroid cases.

If Graves disease is accompanied by signs and symptoms of the eye or called Graves Ophthalmopathy (OG), it will have a bad impact and reduce quality of life.

Prof. Imam said various variations of clinical manifestations in OG cases, for example the eyes in red and protruding, between the left or right eye, one of them could be bigger, or one of the eyes looking down. In severe cases, OG can result in the appearance of chemosis or swelling of the sclera (part of the eye).

"Graves ophthalmopathy tends to be more severe in smokers. Smoking also decreases the effectiveness of orbital radiotherapy and or high-dose glucocorticoids for moderate to severe OG in smokers," explained Prof. Imam.

Prof. Imam conveyed that the prevalence of OG in children comes from countries with a high prevalence of teenage smokers. It is known that there is a possibility of the role of passive smoking.

Moreover, the problem faced in Indonesia is the high number of active smokers. Based on World Bank data, the number of smokers in Indonesia is 39.4 percent, higher than some countries such as China, the Philippines and South Korea.

According to the Indonesia Health Ministry's Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) data in 2018, Indonesians over 15 years old that smoke reached 33.8 percent. With the high number of active smokers (including Graves patients), there will be an impact on the risk of OG, both active and passive smokers.

"Treatment of smokers will also be more difficult. So smoking has absolutely no benefit in Graves patients, because the overall risk is not good," he stressed.

Prof. Imam said OG usually has a negative and long-term impact on the work, hobbies and psychosocial functions of patients.

A German study found among OG patients attending thyroid-eye integrated clinics reported significant job disabilities, 36 percent sick leave, 28 percent disabled, 5 percent early retirement, 3 percent job loss.