Thursday, February 12, 2015

American Cancer Society funded research links more diseases than previously thought to smoking

Researchers say that in addition to lung cancer, artery disease, heart attacks, chronic lung disease and stroke, smoking also can be linked to "significantly increased risks of infection, kidney disease, intestinal disease caused by inadequate blood flow and heart and lung ailments not previously attributed to tobacco," Denise Grady reports for The New York Times. The study, co-authored by researchers from the American Cancer Society, which funded the study, was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

In January 2014, acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris D. Lushniak released a report that said smoking also causes diabetes, colorectal and liver cancers, erectile dysfunction and ectopic pregnancy.

Both reports are bad news for rural areas, where smoking is on the rise. A study by researchers at the University of Washington and in Germany, published in Population Health Metrics, said that 26.9 percent of adults in non-metro areas were smokers in 2010.

The findings of the new study are based on nearly one million people who were followed for 10 years, Grady writes. "Analyzing deaths from the participants from 2000 to 2011, the researchers found that, compared with people who had never smoked, smokers were about twice as likely to die from infections, kidney disease, respiratory ailments not previously linked to tobacco and hypertensive heart disease, in which high blood pressure leads to heart failure. Smokers were also six times more likely to die from a rare illness caused by insufficient blood flow to the intestines." The study also found small increases in the risks of breast and prostate cancer among smokers. (Read more)

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