Health and Fitness

Smoking Increases Risk Of Blindness In Old Age

US researchers found that even after the age of 80, smoking increased a person's risk of developing AMD, age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among Americans aged 65 and over, suggesting it is never too late to give up the habit. The study was the work of lead author Dr Anne Coleman, professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and colleagues, and is published in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. AMD causes a darkening and/or blurring of central vision, and prevents you from being able to read, drive and recognize people you know. It is a progressive degeneration of the macula, the centre of the retina, the part of the membrane inside the back of the eye that allows us to see fine details. Advanced AMD with loss of vision affects about 1.75 million Americans: this figure is expected to rise to just under 3 million by 2020. Smoking is the second most common risk factor for AMD: age is the first.

Obesity Now Poses As Great A Threat To Quality Of Life As Smoking

As the US population becomes increasingly obese while smoking rates continue to decline, obesity has become an equal, if not greater, contributor to the burden of disease and shortening of healthy life in comparison to smoking. In an article published in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Columbia University and The City College of New York calculate that the Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost due to obesity is now equal to, if not greater than, those lost due to smoking, both modifiable risk factors. QALYs use preference-based measurements of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) which allow a person to state a relative preference for a given health outcome. Since one person may value a particular outcome differently than another person, these measures capture how each respondent views his or her own quality of life. The 1993 - 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the largest ongoing state-based health survey of US adults, has conducted interviews of more than 3, 500, 000 individuals;

Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes Increased By Smoking Cessation

Cigarette smoking is a well-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but new research from Johns Hopkins suggests that quitting the habit may actually raise diabetes risk in the short term. The researchers suspect the elevated diabetes risk is related to the extra pounds people typically put on after renouncing cigarettes and caution that no one should use the study's results as an excuse to keep smoking, which is also a risk factor for lung disease, heart disease, strokes and many types of cancer. "The message is: Don't even start to smoke, " says study leader Hsin-Chieh "Jessica" Yeh, Ph.D., an assistant professor of general internal medicine and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "If you smoke, give it up. That's the right thing to do. But people have to also watch their weight, " she adds. In the study, published in the January 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that people who quit smoking have a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes as compared to people who never smoked.

Smoking Cessation Linked To Diabetes, Quitters Should Watch Weight

New research suggests that quitting smoking may raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the short term, and as ex-smokers log more years without touching cigarettes, that risk gradually comes down to that of a never-smoker; the researchers suspect weight gain is the main reason and warn quitters to watch their weight. These are the findings of a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, both in the US, and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Cigarette smoking is already a well-established risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but when smokers quit, they typically put on extra pounds. Lead author, Dr Hsin-Chieh "Jessica" an assistant professor of general internal medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, told the media that they suspect weight gain by quitters is the main reason why the diabetes risk goes up in the short term. She and her colleagues stress that these findings should not be used as an excuse to keep smoking, which is also a risk factor for lung disease, heart disease, strokes, and several types of cancer.

Does Giving Up Smoking Raise Your Diabetes Risk?

A US study this week reported that giving up smoking increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The researchers looked at 10, 892 middle-aged adults who were followed for up to 17 years and found the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes was highest in the first three years after giving up smoking. 70 per cent increased risk The study found quitters had a 70 per cent increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes compared with non-smokers, due to them tending to put on weight. "If you smoke, give it up. That's the right thing to do. But people have to also watch their weight, " said researcher, Dr Jessica Yeh. Not an excuse not to give up smoking However, stressing the research should not be used as an excuse not to give up smoking Natasha Marsland, Care Advisor Diabetes UK, said: "The health benefits of giving up smoking far outweigh the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes from modest, short-term weight gain. "There is every reason you can be successful at both giving up smoking and keeping to a healthy weight if you combine daily physical activity with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in sugar, salt and fat.

Federal Court Decision Prohibits FDA From Detaining NJOY, Electronic Cigarettes

Today the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision granting leading global electronic cigarette brand NJOY's motion for preliminary injunction seeking to prevent FDA from detaining or refusing admission into the U.S. of its electronic cigarette products, a result that should help ensure that committed smokers have continued access to this alternative smoking product. "This is a very important day for our company, which has been on the front lines of the political, legal, consumer and scientific conversations about electronic cigarettes since we introduced the category to North America quite a few years ago now, " said CEO Jack Leadbeater. "The judge's opinion cuts through all the agendas and rhetoric, and presents a clear direction." The court's preliminary injunction prohibits FDA from detaining NJOY's products or refusing their admission into the U.S. unless and until FDA can provide evidence to the court that NJOY markets its products for a "therapeutic effect, " such as the treatment of nicotine addiction or helping smokers quit.

Ways To Cut Cancer Deaths In Europe Highlighted By New Study

New research on deaths from cancer in Europe concludes that the key priority for continuing to reduce mortality is cutting tobacco smoking. The study shows that, while deaths for men from lung cancer in the EU have declined overall, by 17 % from 1995 to 2004, they rose by 27% for women over the same period. It also reveals other significant differences in the mortality between different EU countries and genders, and a steady decline in cancer deaths overall between the early 1990s and 2004. The gender 'splits' reflect how the spread of cigarette smoking among men and women across Europe has changed in the past. For example, the lowest death rates for women in the early 2000s were in Spain, Greece and Portugal, the highest being in Denmark, Hungary and Scotland. For men there is a contrasting country 'split', the lowest rates for men being in Sweden, Finland and Switzerland while the worst affected were Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Despite the impact of smoking, the deaths from all cancers in the EU between the early nineties and early 2000s fell by nine per cent in men and eight per cent in women, with a large drop among the middle aged.

Government Of Canada Encourages Healthy Living In Canadians Through Smoking Cessation Program

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today an important investment that will help encourage Canadians to quit smoking and lead healthier lives. Health Canada is providing just over $2.4 million dollars in funding to the Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation for a project that will assist hospital out-patients with smoking cessation. "The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting all Canadians from the proven health hazards associated with tobacco use, " said Minister Aglukkaq. "Today's funding is a step towards ensuring we get Canadians the help they need to quit smoking." Funding from today's announcement will go towards a project entitled "Extending Tobacco Treatment Excellence: a National Dissemination of Systems". The goal of this project is to implement a smoking cessation program in 21 out-patient clinics that will provide advice to 15, 000 smokers and facilitate best practices and knowledge sharing. The project will also provide training for 2000 health care providers on tobacco addiction treatment including the development of policies and training tools.

Childhood Harms Can Lead To Lung Cancer

Adverse events in childhood have been linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing lung cancer in later life. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Public Health describe how the link is partly explained by raised rates of cigarette smoking in victims of childhood trauma, but note that other factors may also be to blame. David Brown and Robert Anda, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA, worked with a team of researchers to study the effects of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), witnessing domestic violence, parental separation, or growing up in a household where people were mentally ill, substance abusers, or sent to prison. He said, "Adverse childhood experiences were associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, particularly premature death from lung cancer. Although smoking behaviours, including early smoking initiation and heavy smoking, account for the greater part of this risk, other mechanisms or pathophysiologic pathways may be involved".

Motivating, Not Judging, Might Help Smokers Quit

Addressing tobacco use without judging the user appears to help people quit, especially if a primary care physician uses a form of supportive counseling called "motivational interviewing, " according to a new review of studies. The review included data from 14 studies published between 1997 and 2008, with more than 10, 000 smokers involved. "While motivational interviewing has been widely used to help people stop smoking and is recommended in many international anti-smoking guidelines, it had not yet been substantiated by evidence, " said lead investigator Douglas Lai, a family medicine specialist in Hong Kong. "This is the first rigorous review of the best evidence available and the result is encouraging." The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Health and Fitness © Padayatra Dmytriy
Designer Padayatra Dmytriy