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Smoking Rates Drop After Global Tobacco Treaty

Posted 2 days 5 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – After 180 countries agreed to a global tobacco control treaty in 2005, there was a 2.5 percent decrease in smoking worldwide during the next decade, a new study shows. All of the participating countries agreed to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Signing countries committed to introducing policies such as high tobacco taxes and smoke-free public spaces. They also agreed to warning labels, advertising bans, and support for smoking cessation services. "The study provides strong evidence that the FCTC has led to a significant increase in the implementation of tobacco control measures," said study co-author Geoffrey Fong, professor of psychology and health studies at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He and his colleagues reviewed data from 116 countries that signed the treaty and 10 that didn't. Overall, smoking ... Read more

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Health Tip: Managing Metabolic Syndrome

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Metabolic syndrome is a collection of factors that boost your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests these measures to lower your risk of metabolic syndrome: Following a heart-healthy diet. Setting and achieving a healthy target weight. Keeping stress under control. Getting plenty of regular physical activity. Quitting smoking. Taking any medications recommended by your doctor. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Insulin Resistance, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

1 in 4 Teens Exposed to Secondhand E-Cig Vapors: Report

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – One-quarter of U.S. middle and high school students say they've been exposed to potentially dangerous secondhand e-cigarette vapors, a federal government study shows. E-cigarette vapors can contain harmful substances such as nicotine, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. E-cigarette devices can also be used for marijuana and other illicit drugs. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey. They found that more than 24 percent of middle and high school students said they had been exposed to e-cigarette vapors in an indoor or outdoor location at least once in the previous 30 days. That amounted to 6.5 million students. Rates of exposure for specific groups were: almost 22 percent among males; close to 27 percent among females; 24.5 percent among Hispanics; 27 percent among ... Read more

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Smokers Prone to Problems After Joint Replacement: Study

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Quitting smoking before knee or hip replacement surgery may cut the risk of complications after surgery, a new study suggests. Instead of just telling people to quit smoking, these findings suggest that doctors should guide people into pre-surgery smoking-cessation programs for smokers, the researchers said. "We've known that smokers do worse than non-smokers after joint replacements, and now this research shows there's good early evidence that quitting smoking before surgery may improve their outcomes," said study author Dr. Amy Wasterlain. She's a fourth-year orthopaedic surgery resident at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "Not every risk factor can be reduced before a joint replacement, but smoking status is one that should be a top priority for orthopedic surgeons and their patients," she added in an NYU news release. The study included more ... Read more

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Health Tip: Treat Skin Well

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Achieving and maintaining healthy, glowing skin involve more than just keeping it clean. Here are suggestions from the American Academy of Dermatology: Apply sunscreen every day before you head outdoors. Look for one that's water resistant with an SPF of at least 30. Avoid smoking, which can age your skin and slow wound healing. Find ways to manage stress. Perform regular self-exams to look for signs of skin cancer. Wash your face when you wake, before bed and any time you sweat. Choose products designed for your skin type, such as sensitive, oily or dry. Never scrub your skin, which can be irritating. Read more

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'Synthetic Pot' Tied to Risky Sex, Violence and Drug Abuse in Teens

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 13, 2017 – Marijuana is often seen as a relatively benign drug that produces a typically mellow high, but new U.S. government research shows that the drugs called synthetic pot appear to be much different. Teens who use synthetic pot are at a heightened risk for violent behavior, risky sex and abuse of other drugs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study revealed. Synthetic pot – sometimes called fake weed – covers a variety of drugs sold under hundreds of brand names. Spice and K2 were common brands in the past. Some of the chemicals in fake weed are similar to those in marijuana. These drugs are often marketed as natural and safe. But, they have unpredictable, and in some cases, life-threatening effects, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). And, they have become popular among teens because they are cheap and readily ... Read more

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Pot Use Tied to Higher Odds for Stroke, Heart Failure

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – New research analyzing millions of U.S. medical records suggests that marijuana use raises an adult's risk of stroke and heart failure. The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, but the researchers said they tried to account for other heart risk factors. "Even when we corrected for known risk factors, we still found a higher rate of both stroke and heart failure in these patients," explained lead researcher Dr. Aditi Kalla, a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. "That leads us to believe that there is something else going on besides just obesity or diet-related cardiovascular side effects," Kalla said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Her team is slated to present its findings March 18 at the ACC's annual meeting, in Washington, D.C. In the study, Kalla's group looked at 20 million health records of patients ... Read more

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Pot Plus Booze Equals Skidding College Grades

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 – Too much alcohol may not do long-term damage to a college student's GPA, but adding marijuana to the mix can send grades tumbling, new research suggests. The two-year investigation found that, all things being equal, freshmen and sophomores who consistently consumed moderate-to-high quantities of both substances had lower grade point averages (GPAs) than their sober peers. But big drinkers whose pot use was relatively low didn't seem to experience any long-lasting drag on their grades, despite an initial fall during their first semester, the researchers found. "This was surprising to us, as one would think that alcohol by itself would have a profound effect on their grades, but this didn't seem to be the case," said study author Shashwath Meda. Meda is a senior clinical research associate at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center and Hartford ... Read more

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Secondhand Smoke Linked to Food Allergies in Kids

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 6, 2017 – Exposure to secondhand smoke in the first few weeks of life could boost the risk that kids will develop food allergies, a new study suggests. "Early life exposure to secondhand smoke is a well-established risk factor for asthma and, in some studies, for allergic sensitization and eczema in children," said study co-author Anna Bergstrom. She is from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. "However, no studies have prospectively looked at its impact on the risk of pediatric food-related symptoms," Bergstrom said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). In the new study, researchers followed the health of almost 3,800 Swedish children between 1994 and 1996. Researchers followed the kids' health until they were 16. The researchers periodically surveyed the parents about whether or not kids showed any signs of food allergies. ... Read more

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Many Smokers Switch to E-Cigs After Tobacco-Related Illness

Posted 1 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 – Tobacco-related illnesses may lead some smokers to switch to electronic cigarettes, new research indicates. Smokers with breathing problems who can't quit altogether may perceive e-cigarettes as somewhat safer than tobacco cigarettes, the researchers said. "Smokers with asthma, COPD or cardiovascular disease probably use e-cigarettes for the same reasons as other adults: to quit cigarettes, reduce cigarette consumption, or reduce the harms from smoking," said lead investigator Dr. Gina Kruse. The finding stems from responses to the 2014 and 2015 U.S. National Health Interview Surveys. The back-to-back surveys involved roughly 70,000 respondents. "This large sample provides the first national estimates of the prevalence of e-cigarette use among U.S. adults with medical comorbidities [additional health conditions or illnesses]," said Kruse, an assistant professor ... Read more

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More Exercise, Fewer Pounds: Cut Your Heart Failure Risk

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Getting regular exercise and staying slim can lower the risk for an especially hard-to-treat type of heart failure, new research shows. This specific type of disease is called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Ejection fraction is the amount of blood that's pumped out of the heart. In many people with heart failure, the heart is so weak that it doesn't pump enough blood out of the heart to meet the body's demands. In HFpEF, the heart muscle becomes stiff and doesn't fill up with enough blood. This causes fluid to build up in the lungs and the body, the researchers explained in a news release from the American College of Cardiology. "We consistently found an association between physical activity, BMI [body mass index] and overall heart failure risk," said study senior author Dr. Jarett Berry. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height ... Read more

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As Pot Legalization Advances, Pediatricians Warn of Dangers

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging doctors to protect children from the harms of marijuana as the nation becomes increasingly tolerant of the drug's use. "Marijuana is not a benign drug, especially for teens. Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes," said Dr. Seth Ammerman in an AAP news release. He's one of the authors of a new report by the academy. The authors said the report tries to rebut any perceptions that marijuana is safe, even as 29 states and Washington, D.C. allow its use for medical purposes, recreational use or both. Regular use of pot by kids may contribute to addiction, depression, psychosis, lung problems, memory and attention problems, and impaired driving, the AAP said. The report authors noted that research suggests modern marijuana is stronger than it was 20 years ago. They ... Read more

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Prison Time Can Be Deadly … to Health

Posted 26 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Prison time can exact a deadly toll on health, new research suggests. Being behind bars puts people at greater risk for both developing certain types of cancer and dying from their disease, Canadian researchers found. "We know that people who spend time in jails and prisons in Canada are more likely to use alcohol and tobacco, as well as have infections such as HPV (human papillomavirus) and HIV, which can increase the risk of developing some types of cancer," said study author Dr. Fiona Kouyoumdjian. She is a researcher at St. Michael's Hospital and McMaster University in Toronto. For the study, the researchers followed nearly 50,000 people sentenced to jail time in Ontario in 2000. Specifically, the investigators examined how many of these inmates developed cancer and how many died from the disease over the course of 12 years. By 2012, 2.6 percent of the men ... Read more

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Live Healthy, Live Longer

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Want to live a longer, healthier life? Try five simple lifestyle recommendations, a public health expert says. "Stay up to date on immunizations, screening exams for specific types of cancer [e.g., colorectal cancer screening for men and women, and breast and cervical cancer screening for women], and screening blood tests for conditions such as diabetes and HIV," said Dr. Paul Erwin, head of the department of public health at the University of Tennessee. Regular exercise is also important, he added. "Current recommendations call for 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise [or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity]," Erwin said. "If you are not into running, swimming or yoga, try mowing the lawn with a push mower rather than a riding lawn mower," he added. "Park at the far end of the parking lot rather than ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Colonoscopy, Smoking Cessation, Colorectal Cancer, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cervical Cancer, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

How the Neanderthal in Your Genes Affects Your Health

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 – Neanderthals were wiped out about 40,000 years ago, but some of their genes live on in modern humans. And scientists are learning more about what that might mean for our health. Researchers have known for some time that many people carry bits of Neanderthal DNA. In fact, if you're of European or Asian ancestry, your genes are likely between 1 and 2 percent Neanderthal, said Rajiv McCoy, the first author of the new study. And while most people have heard of Neanderthals, they often have mistaken beliefs about them, noted McCoy, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. "A lot of people think Neanderthals were an ancestor of modern humans," he said. In reality, they walked the Earth at the same time as our modern human ancestors – and roughly 50,000 years ago, started mating with them, historians say. That happened after modern ... Read more

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