Posts Tagged "Smoking"

smoking 4Mortality among current smokers is 2 to 3 times as high as that among persons who never smoked. Most of this excess mortality is believed to be explained by 21 common diseases that have been formally established as caused by cigarette smoking and are included in official estimates of smoking-attributable mortality in the United States. However, if smoking causes additional diseases, these official estimates may significantly underestimate the number of deaths attributable to smoking.

We pooled data from five contemporary U.S. cohort studies including 421,378 men and 532,651 women 55 years of age or older. Participants were followed from 2000 through 2011, and relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated with the use of Cox proportional-hazards models adjusted for age, race, educational level, daily alcohol consumption, and cohort.Smoking 2

During the follow-up period, there were 181,377 deaths, including 16,475 among current smokers. Overall, approximately 17% of the excess mortality among current smokers was due to associations with causes that are not currently established as attributable to smoking. These included associations between current smoking and deaths from renal failure, intestinal ischemia, hypertensive heart disease, infections, various respiratory smoking 3diseases, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Among former smokers, the relative risk for each of these outcomes declined as the number of years since quitting increased.

A substantial portion of the excess mortality among current smokers between 2000 and 2011 was due to associations with diseases that have not been formally established as caused by smoking. These associations should be investigated further and, when appropriate, taken into account when the mortality burden of smoking is investigated.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

Stroke_Awareness_MonthA stroke occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked; we sometimes refer to it as a “brain attack.” Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death.

In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing over 133,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.

High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke. However, other risk factors include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke
  • High cholesterol
  • Increasing age (esp. over 55)
  • Race (black people have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke than white people)
  • Heart disease
  • Lifestyle factors (smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise)

 Women are twice as likely to die from stroke than breast cancer annually. The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke in the United States in 2010 is $73.7 billion.

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Learning the signs of stroke are crucial, because time is of the essence when a stroke is occurring. Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability, or death. Recognizing the symptoms and acting FAST to get emergency medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.

To learn more, see the National STROKE Association‘s fact sheet or the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

cancer

Cancer Control Month celebrates advances in the fight against cancer. These include all aspects of prevention, early detection, and treatment of this devastating disease.

The best way to fight cancer is to find cancer cells early and get rid of them. The earlier cancer is found, the better the prognosis.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America, after heart disease. Today, about half of all men and about 1 in every 3 women will develop cancer at some point in their lives.

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However, cancer rates and deaths have been on the decline since the 1990s. We now know ways to prevent cancer from developing. One third of all cancers detected will be related to obesity or being overweight, physical inactivity, and nutrition choices.

While everyone is at risk for cancer, some factors cause certain people to be at greater risk. Age is the greatest risk factor for cancer, with 77% of cancers being detected at age 55 or older. Smokers, heavy drinkers, the physically inactive, those with a poor diet, and those who have had prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight are also all at an increased risk for different types of cancers.

At PHC, we provide the most intensive and thorough cancer screening available. Our preventive executive physicals include tests designed to catch cancer in its earliest stages. Each patient receives a personalized program of studies tailored specifically for individual risk factors, including family history. This April, celebrate Cancer Control Month by scheduling your executive physical as soon as possible!

Read more information here.

steak and eggs

Middle-aged people who eat protein-rich food are four times more likely to die of cancer than someone who only eats a little, according to a new study. The researchers said eating a lot of protein increased the risk of cancer almost as much as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

They reached their findings, published in the journal Cell: Metabolism, after tracking thousands of people over 20 years. “We provide convincing evidence that a high-protein diet – particularly if the proteins are derived from animals – is nearly as bad as smoking for your health,” one of the academics behind the work, Dr Valter Longo, of the University of Southern California, told The Daily Telegraph.

A high-protein diet was defined as one in which 20 per cent of the calories came from protein. They recommended eating 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight a day during middle age.

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However, the researchers said protein had benefits during later life. Dr Eileen Crimmins, a co-author of the study, said: “We also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty.”

However Dr Gunter Kuhnle, a food nutrition scientist at the University of Reading, criticised the study for making a link to smoking. “While this study raises some interesting perspectives on links between protein intake and mortality… It is wrong, and potentially even dangerous, to compare the effects of smoking with the effect of meat and cheese,” he said. “The smoker thinks: ‘Why bother quitting smoking if my cheese and ham sandwich is just as bad for me?’”

And Professor Tim Key, of Cancer Research UK, said: “Further research is needed to establish whether there is any link between eating a high protein diet and an increased risk of middle aged people dying from cancer.”

Source: The Independent

heart disease women

While overall mortality from heart disease is declining, the number of younger women with heart disease is growing. A new study by the Canadian-led global INTERHEART group shows that nine factors account for 90% of the risk for a first myocardial infarction:

  • Smoking
  • Lipids
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Diet
  • Physical Activity
  • Psychosocial Factors

Cardiovascular disease has been the leading killer of American women since 1908. Death rates from heart disease are increasing in women aged 35 to 54 years, most likely as a result of obesity. Cardiovascular disease causes one death per minute in the U.S.– that amounts to a staggering 421,918 deaths every year. More than 12 million women in the U.S. are suffering from Type II diabetes. Across the globe, heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in every major developed country and most emerging economies.

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The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization scientists. It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented. The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer. Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.

The developing world will bear the brunt of the extra cases.

Chris Wild, the director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, told the BBC: “The global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the ageing of the populations and population growth.

“If we look at the cost of treatment of cancers, it is spiraling out of control, even for the high-income countries. Prevention is absolutely critical and it’s been somewhat neglected.”

The WHO’s World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:

  • Smoking
  • Infections
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity and inactivity
  • Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
  • Air pollution and other environmental factors
  • Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding

For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers. One of the report’s editors, Dr Bernard Stewart from the University of New South Wales in Australia, said prevention had a “crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world”.

Dr Stewart said human behavior was behind many cancers such as the sunbathe “until you’re cooked evenly on both sides” approach in his native Australia. He said it was not the role of the International Agency for Research on Cancer to dictate what should be done.

 But he added: “In relation to alcohol, for example, we’re all aware of the acute effects, whether it’s car accidents or assaults, but there’s a burden of disease that’s not talked about because it’s simply not recognized, specifically involving cancer. “The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol – those things should be on the agenda.”

He said there was a similar argument to be had with sugar fueling obesity, which in turn affected cancer risk.

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Source: BBC

Which twin is the heavy smoker?

Which twin is the heavy smoker?

We know that smoking is bad for you, and that it ages you prematurely. Now, a new study provides photographic evidence for this claim.

Scientists gathered health and lifestyle information on 79 pairs of identical adult twins who fit into one of three groups: a pair in which one was a smoker and the other had never smoked; a pair in which both were smokers; or a pair in which both were smokers but with at least a five-year difference in the duration of their smoking habit. The researchers photographed them and had independent judges rate the pictures side-by-side for wrinkles, crow’s feet, jowls, bags under the eyes, creases around the nose, lines around the lips and other evidence of aging skin.

The differences in some other factors that can age skin prematurely — alcohol consumption, sunscreen use and perceived stress at work — were statistically insignificant between twin pairs. But the judges’ decisions on which twin looked older coincided almost perfectly with their smoking histories.

“The purpose of this study was to offer scientific evidence that smoking changes not only longevity, but also quality of appearance,” said the senior author, Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the plastic surgery department at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. “It is harmful any way you look at it.”

Take the New York Times’ Well Quiz here.

 

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