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Older Smokers With Migraines May Face Added Stroke Risk

Posted 3 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 – Older smokers who experience migraines appear to be at increased risk of stroke, a new study suggests. The study included nearly 1,300 people, average age 68, who suffered migraine headaches with and without aura. Migraine with aura is a migraine that's preceded or accompanied by visual effects such as flashes of light or blind spots, or by tingling in the hands or face. The study participants were followed for an average of 11 years to see how many had a heart attack or stroke. The findings were published online July 22 in the journal Neurology. The researchers did not find an association between migraine and the risk of either heart attack or stroke in nonsmokers. But among smokers, migraine was associated with a threefold increased risk of stroke. However, even though the study found an association between migraine and stroke risk in smokers, it did not ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Smoking, Ischemic Stroke, Migraine Prevention, Smoking Cessation, Transient Ischemic Attack, Migraine Prophylaxis, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Deaths, Hospital Stays and Costs All Down Among U.S. Seniors

Posted 5 days ago by

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 – In a rare piece of good news about the U.S. health care system, a new study finds that deaths, hospital stays and spending are all falling among older Americans. Between 1999 and 2013, yearly rates of death and hospitalization steadily declined among Americans in the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program. Meanwhile, spending on inpatient care showed the same pattern. Researchers called the findings striking. "The declines were steady throughout the study period," said lead researcher Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. "The trends are actually pretty jaw-dropping." For a public used to hearing how broken the U.S. health care system is, the findings might come as a surprise, Krumholz acknowledged. "As researchers," he said, "we often focus on finding deficiencies in health care, so we can work on them. And ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Smoking, Heart Disease, Smoking Cessation, Angina, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Heart Disease, Alzheimer's Linked by Common Risk Factors

Posted 5 days ago by

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 – Some risk factors for heart disease may also be linked with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, a new study reports. "We already know that vascular risk factors damage the brain and can result in cognitive [mental] impairment," study lead author Dr. Kevin King said in a news release from the journal Radiology. "Our findings give us a more concrete idea about the relationship between specific vascular risk factors and brain health," said King, an assistant professor of radiology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. The study was published in the July 28 issue of the journal. Prior research has linked heart risk factors and mental decline, but this study focused on specific risk factors and three brain structures – the hippocampus, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex – that play a role in memory. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Smoking, Dementia, Smoking Cessation, Alzheimer's Disease, Alcohol Dependence, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

Teens Using E-Cigs More Prone to Take Up Smoking: Study

Posted 6 days ago by

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – Teenagers who use electronic cigarettes may be more likely to smoke the real thing, new research suggests. The study, which included almost 2,100 California high school students, found that one-quarter had ever "vaped" (tried e-cigarettes). Ten percent of the teens were currently using e-cigarettes. And those current users were much more likely than their peers to also smoke cigarettes. One-third of e-cigarette users also smoked tobacco cigarettes, versus 1 percent of kids who'd never vaped. Researchers said the findings do not prove e-cigarettes act as a gateway to tobacco use. But they raise the possibility that e-cigarettes are encouraging a more tobacco-friendly culture among kids, said study leader Jessica Barrington-Trimis, a researcher at the University of Southern California. The study also found that most kids who used e-cigarettes also had friends or ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD

Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Won't Necessarily Help Smokers Stop

Posted 6 days ago by

SATURDAY, July 25, 2015 – Low-nicotine cigarettes alone don't help smokers quit over the long term, a new study finds. "We don't know that very low-nicotine cigarettes will not reduce nicotine dependence, but progressively reducing nicotine content of cigarettes in the way that we did, without other means of supporting smokers, did not produce the desired results," study leader Dr. Neal Benowitz, a professor in the departments of medicine and bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release. The study included 135 smokers who had no immediate plans to quit, but were interested in trying low-nicotine cigarettes. Eighty of them were given cigarettes with progressively lower levels of nicotine, eventually reaching just 5 percent of the level used in regular cigarettes. The other 55 participants continued using their ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD

Many Cancer Survivors Who Smoke See Little Benefit to Quitting

Posted 10 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Cancer survivors who continue to smoke view the habit as less risky than survivors who quit, and they're more likely to spend time with smokers, a new study shows. Researchers from the American Cancer Society also found that these post-cancer smokers are more inclined than others to raise obstacles to quitting. Not smoking is particularly important for people with cancer. These survey findings could improve strategies to help cancer survivors conquer their addiction, the researchers suggested. Doctors may want to encourage the relatives of cancer survivors to quit smoking to reduce their cigarette exposure and improve their odds of quitting successfully, the researchers said. "The association between smoking and exposure to others' smoke was particularly eye-opening," said study leader Lee Westmaas, of the cancer society's behavioral research center. "Being ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation

Lung Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer

Posted 17 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 – Lung cancer patients live longer if they quit smoking around the time of their cancer diagnosis, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 250 lung cancer patients who were smokers and were referred to a program to help them stop smoking. Fifty had recently quit smoking, and 71 had quit smoking soon after being referred to the tobacco cessation program. Those who quit smoking shortly before or after they learned they had lung cancer lived an average of 28 months. Those who continued to smoke lived an average of 18 months, the study found. Even patients with advanced lung cancer gained extra survival time if they quit smoking, the study in the July issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology showed. The researchers also found that patients who didn't quit smoking but continued their attempts to quit may also live longer. However, death rates for those who quit and ... Read more

Related support groups: Wellbutrin, Smoking, Bupropion, Chantix, Wellbutrin XL, Smoking Cessation, Wellbutrin SR, Nicotine, Lung Cancer, Zyban, Nicorette, Champix, Nicotrol Inhaler, Nicoderm CQ, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Commit, Budeprion XL, Zyban Advantage Pack, Varenicline

Many Young Women Taking Up 'Very Light' Smoking, Study Finds

Posted 17 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 – While overall smoking rates are falling in the United States, a new study points to one exception: Young women who often opt for "very light" smoking. The study defined a very light habit as smoking five or fewer cigarettes a day. For the research, a team led by Carole Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin looked at data from nearly 9,800 women ages 18 to 25 who took part in a federal government survey in 2011. Very light and intermittent smoking – using cigarettes on some days but not others – was common among the women. Nearly 20 percent of all the women in the study, and about 60 percent of current smokers, were described as very light smokers, and nearly half of the current smokers did not smoke every day. Younger women were more likely to be very light and intermittent smokers than heavy or daily smokers, Holahan's team found. Compared to other ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation

Secondhand Smoke Tied to Raised Stroke Risk in Study

Posted 18 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2015 – New research suggests that exposure to secondhand smoke may increase nonsmokers' risk of stroke by nearly one-third. "Our findings suggest the possibility for adverse health outcomes such as stroke among nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke and add to the body of evidence supporting stricter smoking regulations," said lead author Angela Malek, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 22,000 white and black American adults older than 45. About 23 percent said they were exposed to secondhand smoke in the previous year. Between April 2003 and March 2012, there were 428 strokes among the study participants. There were 352 ischemic strokes (blockage of blood flow to the brain), 50 bleeding (hemorrhagic) strokes, and 26 strokes of unknown subtype. After adjusting for other stroke risk factors – such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Ischemic Stroke, Smoking Cessation, Intracranial Hemorrhage

Smoking, Preterm Births Increase a Woman's Heart Disease Risk

Posted 9 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 – Women who smoke and have had a premature baby are at significantly higher risk for heart disease, a new study finds. Researchers examined data from more than 900,000 mothers and found that those who smoked and also had a preterm birth were nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers who had full-term births. That risk is 29 percent higher than the risk associated with either smoking or preterm birth alone, according to the study published July 9 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The risk of heart disease was even higher among mothers who smoked and had multiple or extremely premature births. "Fertility treatment is pushing up rates of preterm birth and smoking in pregnant women remains high, so knowledge of the impact of these conditions on [heart disease] is important for prevention efforts. Our research ... Read more

Related support groups: Wellbutrin, Smoking, Heart Disease, Bupropion, Heart Attack, Chantix, Wellbutrin XL, Smoking Cessation, Wellbutrin SR, Nicotine, Zyban, Myocardial Infarction, Nicorette, Champix, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Nicotrol Inhaler, Nicoderm CQ, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Premature Labor

Medical Marijuana Ads May Prompt Pot Use Among Teens

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Teens who see ads for medical marijuana are much more likely to use the drug, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at more than 8,200 students in grades 6, 7 and 8 at 16 middle schools in Southern California in 2010 and 2011. In the first year, 22 percent of the students said they had seen at least one ad for medical marijuana in the past three months. That number rose to 30 percent the following year. Students who saw medical marijuana ads were twice as likely as others to either have used marijuana or say they intended to use it in the future, according to the RAND Corp. study published online recently in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. The study does not prove that seeing medical marijuana ads makes teens more likely to use marijuana, but it does raise a number of concerns, the investigators said. "As prohibitions on marijuana ease and ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis

Most Americans Favor Raising Legal Smoking Age to 21: CDC

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Three-quarters of American adults favor raising the legal smoking age to 21, a new federal government study shows. While support for such a law was strongest among older adults and those who never smoked, 70 percent of smokers also supported the concept. Only 11 percent of adults strongly opposed such a policy, while 14 percent were somewhat opposed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found. The study was published online July 7 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. "Raising the minimum age of sale [of tobacco products] to 21 could benefit the health of Americans in several ways," Brian King, acting deputy director for research translation in the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, said in an agency news release. "It could delay the age of first experimenting with tobacco, reducing the likelihood of transitioning to regular ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation

Keeping Fit May Halve Seniors' Heart Failure Risk

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – In more good news for those who don't let aging keep them from practicing healthy habits, a new study finds the fittest seniors are half as likely as others to suffer from heart failure. "Older adults can make simple changes to reduce their heart failure risk, such as not smoking, engaging in moderate physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight," said study author Liana Del Gobbo, a Ph.D. student with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. Heart failure is very common among older people, the researchers said. "A person aged 55 has a one-in-three chance of developing heart failure in his lifetime," Del Gobbo said, and the condition is the leading cause of hospitalization in people covered by Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for seniors. "Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Heart Failure, Smoking Cessation, Congestive Heart Failure, Alcohol Dependence, Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Americans' Risk of Dying From Cancer Is Falling, CDC Finds

Posted 2 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 2, 2015 – The risk that any one American will die from cancer – the cancer death rate – is going down, regardless of sex or race, a new government study reports. However, because the United States has a growing aging population, the overall number of people dying from cancer is on the rise, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. "While we are making progress in reducing cancer death rates, we still have real work to do to reduce cancer deaths among our aging population," said lead researcher Mary White, a scientist in the CDC's division of cancer prevention and control. Between 2007 and 2020, cancer deaths are expected to rise more than 10 percent among men and black women, the report found. Among white women, the number of cancer deaths will start to stabilize, increasing less than 5 percent during this period, according to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation

Migraine's Link to Higher Heart Disease Risk May Not Be Genetic

Posted 2 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 2, 2015 – People who have migraines have a greater risk for heart disease, but their genes may not be to blame for the connection, new research suggests. Scientists looked at two large studies that pinpointed genetic variations that can increase the risk for migraine and heart disease. The first study included almost 20,000 people with migraine and more than 55,000 people who didn't have these severe headaches. The second study involved more than 21,000 people with heart disease and just over 63,000 people who didn't. Led by Dr. Aarno Palotie, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Boston, the researchers tried to find shared genetic variants in people with migraines and heart disease. But they found no common gene variations between migraine with aura and heart disease – even though evidence suggests these patients have a greater risk for heart disease than those ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Migraine, Smoking, Heart Disease, Smoking Cessation, Imitrex, Maxalt, Sumatriptan, Relpax, Cafergot, Zomig, Treximet, Midrin, Ergotamine, Maxalt-MLT, Frova, Migranal, Rizatriptan, Migergot, Amerge

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