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Health News Results - 135

COVID-19 hits smokers much harder than nonsmokers, according to a new review.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), analyzed 19 studies that included data on smoking and severity of COVID-19 among nearly 11,600 patients in the United States, China and Korea.

Most patients were hospitalized, but two studies also included outpatients. Just over 6...

Electronic cigarettes are touted by some as safer than smoking tobacco. But a new study finds they damage blood vessels just like traditional cigarettes do.

Among hundreds of healthy young adults, researchers found that vaping and smoking cigarettes cause the same harm to arteries that leads to heart attacks, strokes and heart disease.

"The evidence is growing that e-cigar...

Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 are more likely to have complications, so this might be a good time to quit, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons says.

An early study from China looked at 78 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Researchers found those with a history of smoking had 14 times the risk of needing a higher level care, requiring a ventilator, and/or dying.

COVID-19 dea...

Kids and teens who take up smoking are more likely to become daily smokers and find it harder to quit by their 40s, a new study finds.

"Based on our data coupled with a variety of other evidence, we found childhood smoking leads to adult smoking," said lead researcher David Jacobs Jr., a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "Cigarette smoking, eve...

Nonsmokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a greater risk for lung cancer, a new study indicates.

In fact, their risk is similar to that of smokers without chronic lung disease, researchers found.

COPD includes respiratory conditions that narrow the airways, such as bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is the leading cause of both COPD and lung cancer.

People with asthma and other lung diseases are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19, caution experts from the American Lung Association.

"Everyone's health is at risk from COVID-19, and those living with a lung disease or who are immunocompromised may be more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus," said Dr. Albert Rizzo, the association's chief medical officer.

E-cigarette use is rising, putting more Americans at risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 1 in 20 adults use e-cigarettes.

"Our study may have important public health implications and ramifications for educational strategies aimed at targeting various population segments to inform t...

For every 52 smokers, secondhand smoke claims the life of one nonsmoker, an international study reports.

"We hope that attributing harm directly to smokers will help influence public opinion against secondhand smoke exposure and enthuse governments to enforce stringent anti-tobacco control," said co-author Dr. Jagat Narula in a Mount Sinai news release. He is a professor of medicine a...

Many U.S. teens and young adults have no idea much nicotine is in the vaping products they use, a new study says.

Researchers asked 445 17- to 24-year-olds in California about their tobacco and nicotine use, especially the use of pod-based e-cigarettes, such as Juul. The devices, which resemble computer thumb drives, consist of a plastic pod of nicotine-infused fluid that snaps into a...

YouTube is awash in misleading videos touting the safety of tobacco and vaping, a new study finds.

Researchers found that from 2013 to 2019, views of smoking-themed YouTube videos dramatically increased, particularly those with instructions on vaping.

"The easy access of such [video] material suggests that YouTube is a fertile environment for the promotion of tobacco produ...

From weight loss to physical activity, lifestyle changes are effective, yet underused strategies to manage atrial fibrillation, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Atrial fibrillation -- also known as a-fib or AF -- is an abnormal heart rhythm affecting more than 2.7 million Americans.

In a-fib, the heart's upper chambers beat ...

Worldwide, air pollution may be shortening people's life expectancy by an average of three years, according to new estimates.

Researchers calculate that air pollution actually has a bigger impact on life expectancy than tobacco smoking, HIV/AIDS or violence.

While that might sound surprising, it reflects the ubiquity of air pollution, said study co-author Jos Lelieveld of th...

Even if a pregnant woman quits smoking in the first trimester, her baby is still at risk for a smaller body and head, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed data from 1.4 million mother-child pairs in Finland to assess how smoking during pregnancy affects newborns.

"The most important finding of our study is that although quitting smoking in the first trimester reduces the ...

Your lungs might not be your only concern if you're trying electronic cigarettes -- your mouth may pay the price, too.

Vaping alters the natural bacteria found in the mouth, leaving you more vulnerable to oral infections and inflammation, a new study reports.

The researchers said this study is the first to show that vaping can alter the natural balance of beneficial bacteri...

The best available drugs to treat sudden COPD flare-ups are the medications already widely in use, antibiotics and corticosteroids, a new evidence review has concluded.

There's not enough evidence to recommend newer treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), said lead researcher Dr. Claudia Dobler, a visiting scholar at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

S...

Many people who quit smoking before having weight-loss surgery go back to cigarettes after the procedure, a new study finds.

Researchers followed 1,770 adults for seven years after they had weight-loss surgery at 10 U.S. hospitals. While about 14% smoked in the year before surgery, that fell to 2% in the month before their operation.

But the smoking rate rose to near...

People who vape have potentially cancer-causing changes in their DNA similar to those found in cigarette smokers, according to a new study.

These chemical alterations -- called epigenetic changes -- can cause genes to malfunction. They are found in nearly all types of cancer, as well as other serious diseases, the researchers noted.

"That doesn't mean that these people are g...

Going solo when trying to quit smoking isn't enough, one lung health expert says.

"Smokers develop a physiological dependence on nicotine, and they need more than willpower to quit," said Dr. Danish Ahmad, a pulmonologist with Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The American Cancer Society says that smokers typically try quitting eight to 10 times before s...

While fewer Americans are smoking these days, the habit has remained stubbornly persistent among stroke survivors, new research shows.

The researchers found that the prevalence of smoking among U.S. stroke survivors has not improved since 1999 and, as of 2016, stood at 26%.

That's in contrast to the trend among Americans in general, who are gradually leaving cigarettes b...

Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol may put their babies at higher odds for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a new government study finds.

After the first trimester of pregnancy, women who both smoked and drank increased the risk for SIDS nearly 12 times. For those who continued to smoke, SIDS risk rose fivefold, and for those who continued to drink, the risk wa...

Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are little help for people seeking information about how to quit drinking, smoking, vaping or taking opioids, a new study finds.

"Alexa can already fart on demand, why can't it and other intelligent virtual assistants also provide lifesaving substance use treatment referrals for those desperately seeking help? Many of these same people likely hav...

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy put their infants at increased risk of fractures in their first year of life, researchers warn.

The study looked at more than 1.6 million people who were born in Sweden between 1983 and 2000, and followed for an average of 21 years.

Over that time, nearly 378,000 fractures were recorded. But the rate among those whose moms smoked during pre...

Some groups of American teens are more likely than others to view e-cigarettes as a health threat, a new study suggests.

That list includes girls, whites, LGBTQ teens, teens living in the suburbs, and those from more affluent and better-educated families.

Vaping rates among U.S. teens are high. More than 1 in 4 high school students regularly use e-cigarettes, and the number...

E-cigarettes are not a safer alternative to tobacco as far as strokes are concerned, according to a new study.

Young adults who use tobacco and e-cigarettes are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke as those who smoke only traditional cigarettes and almost three times as likely as nonsmokers, researchers say.

"While we already know that combustible cigarette use is one o...

If 2020 is the year you've resolved to quit smoking, don't start vaping.

No matter what e-cigarette companies advertise, their products aren't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a safe and effective way to give up tobacco, the American Lung Association warns. And switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes isn't quitting.

"The simple truth is that e-cigarettes...

If you think vaping is less likely to harm your lungs than traditional cigarettes, think again.

E-cigarettes have been touted as safer than tobacco smoke, but evidence is mounting that they are both damaging to your airways, U.K. researchers report.

A team from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland compared cigarette smoke and e-cigarette v...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the sale of two reduced nicotine cigarettes.

Moonlight and Moonlight Menthol cigarettes were given the green light because they contain much less nicotine than traditional cigarettes and they could help adult smokers kick the habit, the FDA said.

"Today's authorization represents the first product to successfully dem...

Young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for nicotine addiction, new research shows.

For the study, a Duke University team used a nasal spray to determine how nicotine affected 136 nonsmoking volunteers, aged 18 to 25.

About half had been diagnosed with ADHD. The others had no diagnosed mental health conditions.

In the...

Three-quarters of U.S. teens who use e-cigarettes are vaping addictive or mind-altering substances -- more than once suspected, according to a new study.

The findings add to growing concerns about teen vaping.

"We found that youth were more likely to report vaping nicotine and marijuana than 'just flavoring' only, and that cigarette smoking intensity was associated with an i...

Secondhand smoke can harm children's arteries, a new study warns.

Researchers used ultrasound to examine the carotid artery in the neck, brachial artery in the upper arm, and abdominal aorta right above the belly button in 298 kids aged 8 to 18 who were not smokers.

Some had been exposed to secondhand smoke and others had not, the study authors said.

The investiga...

Adults who have never smoked traditional cigarettes are being lured into tobacco use by a host of other products, including e-cigarettes, new research shows.

The study found 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. who had never smoked reported trying non-cigarette tobacco products - with young adults 18 to 39 reporting the highest prevalence of use.

"In general, cigarette use has decrea...

Juul electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine at a much higher rate than most other types of e-cigarettes, new research shows.

Juul is by far the leading e-cigarette brand sold in the United States, and is particularly popular among youth.

In the new study, researchers from Penn State University College of Medicine analyzed blood samples from six Juul users who were asked to p...

Quitting smoking leads to major changes in intestinal bacteria, according to new research. But just what the changes mean will need further investigation.

The small pilot study, to be presented Monday during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, comes in the wake of past research showing a link between bacteria in the gut and cardiovascular health. Tha...

Cigarette smoking has reached an all-time low in the United States, but experts say the rise of vaping puts a damper on what otherwise would be a tremendous public health achievement.

Just under 14% of American adults smoked cigarettes in 2018, a dramatic decline from the 42% adult smoking rate in 1965, according to researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pre...

Vaping isn't necessarily better for your heart health than smoking tobacco, a pair of new studies argue.

They report that use of e-cigarettes negatively affects risk factors for heart disease in ways similar to traditional tobacco cigarettes:

  • Levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated in people who use e-cigarettes, according to results from the first stud...

While 6 in 10 Americans say they're concerned about developing cancer, only 1 in 4 make cancer prevention part of their daily lives, a new online survey reveals.

Roughly a quarter think there's nothing they can do to prevent it. But the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) says as many of half of cancer cases are preventable.

"Tobacco use, diet, sun exposure, alcohol...

Tasty flavors entice young people to try e-cigarettes, getting them hooked on what can become a lifetime habit, a new study shows.

"Children and youth prefer sweet flavors. We know that flavors increase appeal to young or inexperienced users," said lead researcher Andrea Villanti, an associate professor with the University of Vermont's Center on Behavior and Health. "Something that ta...

Smoking around kids may harm their vision as their eyes are still developing, a new study suggests.

Secondhand smoke has long been linked to increased risks for cancer and stroke in adults, and asthma, lung infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in children, according to the American Cancer Society. Now, added to these is the risk of changes in the eye that may cause visio...

Young and middle-aged adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an increased risk of stroke, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers analyzed medical data from more than 1 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They ranged in age from 18 to 60 years and two-thirds were white.

Of those, 29% had been diagnosed with PTSD. None had previo...

Due to population growth and aging, the number of cancer cases worldwide is expected to jump 60% by 2040 -- but unhealthy lifestyle habits are likely to make the surge even larger.

That's the conclusion from the new edition of the Cancer Atlas, unveiled Wednesday at the World Cancer Leaders' Summit in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. It notes that unhealthy habits such as smoking, p...

Certain eating habits, high levels of stress and exposure to pollution are among the greatest factors associated with acne, researchers say.

They studied links to acne in more than 6,700 people from six countries in Europe and the Americas. The analysis showed that many more people with acne consume dairy products each day than those without acne -- 48.2% versus 38.8%.

...

Even light smoking causes long-term damage to lungs, researchers warn.

In a new study, they compared lung function -- how much air a person can breathe in and out -- from more than 25,000 people. The analysis included nonsmokers, light smokers (fewer than five cigarettes a day) and heavy smokers (more than 30 cigarettes a day).

The light smokers' lung function declined at a ...

Despite an outbreak of severe lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping, many young Americans consider e-cigarettes harmless, a new poll shows.

More than 20% of 18- to 38-year-olds called vaping harmless and nonaddictive; nearly 30% said flavored e-cigarettes do less damage to the lungs than unflavored ones.

The nationwide poll of more than 4,000 adults, commissione...

When parents smoke, their kids may face a higher risk of a common heart rhythm problem decades later, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adults who grew up with smokers were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, versus those with nonsmoking parents.

Atrial fibrillation (or "a-fib") is a heart arrhythmia in which the atria -- the heart's upper chambers -- peri...

Chemical emissions from heat-not-burn tobacco devices are lower than from conventional cigarettes, but they're still high enough to be cause for concern, researchers report.

The makers of such devices claim that they produce a "clean" vapor that contains fewer irritants and cancer-causing chemicals than a traditional cigarette, and are therefore less dangerous.

"We found th...

Hookahs may be more dangerous than other types of smoking due to high levels of toxic chemicals, carbon monoxide and ultrafine particles, researchers warn.

Water pipes used to smoke specially made flavored tobacco have become increasingly popular, and 1 in 5 college students in the United States and Europe has tried them.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, ...

Health warnings on individual cigarettes could be a more powerful way to coax smokers to quit than warnings on packages, British researchers say.

They assessed the reactions of 120 smokers, 16 and older, to the warning "Smoking kills" printed on individual cigarettes.

Smokers said the warnings could potentially work.

They said a caution on each cigarette would exte...

One of the toughest challenges for those fighting the problem of vaping in schools may be getting people to realize how big the problem is in the first place.

Many teachers and parents don't know that the number of teens using e-cigarette devices has grown rapidly in just the past several years. Adults might not even recognize the most popular vape products, which look more like somethi...

Smokers would have to get past some gruesome imagery to purchase a pack of cigarettes under a new rule proposed Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Cigarette packs would have to carry very large warning labels that would feature color photos graphically illustrating the damage smoking can cause, the FDA said Thursday. It would be the most significant change to cigarette...

Want to reduce your risk of dementia? Take care of your heart.

That's the takeaway from a new study that suggests good heart health in middle age could lower your odds for problems with thinking and memory later in life.

The study included nearly 7,900 British adults who did not have heart disease or dementia at age 50. Over an average 25-year followup, 347 cases of dementia...