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It's Never Too Late to Quit Smoking!
Health benefits begin as early as 20 minutes after quitting.

By MassachusettsHealth.com writers. Not doctor reviewed. Read disclaimer.

If you're a smoker or know someone who smokes, there's good news!
It's never too late to quit smoking: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

Time after quitting   Health benefits
20 minutes   Your heart rate drops.
12 hours   Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months   Your heart attach risk begins to drop.
Your lung function begins to improve.
1 to 9 months   Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 year   Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 years   Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's 5-15 years after quitting.
10 years   Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's.
Risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
15 years   Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.

But that's not all! Compared to smokers, your: dangers of smoking

  • ulcer risk drops after quitting.
  • bladder cancer risk is halved a few years after quitting.
  • peripheral artery disease risk goes down after quitting.
  • cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting.
  • risk of developing diabetes decreases and, for someone who already has diabetes, managing the disease becomes easier.
  • risk of developing osteoporosis decreases.
  • low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if women quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.
  • sex life improves (men because they are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction).
  • breath, clothes and hair smell better and teeth become whiter.
  • food tastes better.
  • blood oxygen level increases so muscles become stronger and tire less easily. Also, non-smokers experience less pain and muscle aches.
  • body experiences a wide range of health benefits.

With all these health benefits, there's never been a better time to quit! The good news is that over half of all adult smokers have already successfully quit. Plus, if you are one of the nearly 3 out of 4 current smokers who is serious about kicking the habit, many tips and resources available to help you quit smoking.

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help or ask your healthcare provider to help you make a plan for quitting.

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From the Research Desk...

Vitamin D deficiency linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, obesity, autoimmune deseases and even premature death

Kansas City, Kansas - Vitamin D deficiency was associated with cardiovascular disease risk and death, whereas Vitamin D supplementation was associated with better survival, according to researchers in the American Journal of Cardiology.

In the study, scientists from the University of Kansas analyzed data on 10,899 patients and found that 70% of them were deficient in Vitamin D. Those who were D-deficient were 40% more likely to have hypertension, 30% more likely to have cardiomyopathy, and twice as likely to have diabetes than those without a deficiency. Plus, they were three times more likely to die from any cause.

Patients who took Vitamin D supplements had a 60% lower risk of death from any cause, especially those who had previously been deficient.

The cause of the problem, according to a Boston University School of Medicine paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is that:

  • most of us do not receive a moderate amount of sun exposure
  • very few foods are naturally rich in Vitamin D
  • foods that have been fortified with Vitamin D often contain inadequate amounts

Since they feel that Vitamin D deficiency has reached pandemic proportions, they also suggest that both children and adults consider taking Vitamin D supplements.

Oat fiber helps lower cholesterol, says Health Canada

oat fiber lowers cholesterol

Ottawa, Ontario - In a recent decision, Health Canada concluded that scientific studies support the claim that consumption of oat fiber is linked to a reduction in blood cholesterol. As a result, they announced that beta-glucan oat fiber products -- that meet set criteria -- can claim they help lower cholesterol.

The sources of oat fiber eligible for the claim are oat bran, rolled oats (also known as oatmeal) and whole oat flour that are either food themselves (oat bran and rolled oats) or are ingredients in formulated foods (oat bran, rolled oats and whole oat flour).

Other Popular Massachusetts Health Posts...
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BBC News - Health
BBC News - Health
The latest stories from the Health section of the BBC News web site.

07/25/2014 01:00 AM
One-shot cancer therapy gets NHS nod
A pioneering breast cancer treatment that replaces weeks of radiotherapy with a single, targeted shot is set to be offered on the NHS.
07/25/2014 12:40 AM
Bedtime light 'may stop cancer drug'
Even dimly lit bedrooms may stop breast cancer drugs from working, according to US research.
07/25/2014 10:24 AM
S Leone hunts seized Ebola patient
A hunt is launched in Sierra Leone's capital for a woman with Ebola who was forcibly removed from hospital, as Nigeria registers its first case.
07/25/2014 04:42 AM
Sexism 'puts women off sports'
A report by MPs suggests a lack of female participation in sport has long-term health and social consequences.
07/24/2014 05:14 PM
Shift workers 'face diabetes risk'
Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts, with effects on waistlines, hormones and sleep increasing the risk, a study suggests.
07/25/2014 12:14 AM
Chicken factory health probe ordered
An investigation into allegations of hygiene failings at poultry processing factories is ordered by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
07/24/2014 04:26 AM
Fewer young smokers and drinkers
Smoking, drinking and drug use among secondary school pupils have more than halved over the past 10 years, figures show.
07/24/2014 08:37 AM
A&E units miss 12-hour wait targets
The 12-hour waiting time target for Northern Ireland A&E units was breached more than 700 times between April and June, according to the latest figures.
07/24/2014 08:55 AM
Government 'loses £700m NHS IT case'
Taxpayers could be hit with a £700m bill after the government reportedly loses a legal fight with Fujitsu.
07/23/2014 04:55 PM
Paracetamol for back pain questioned
Taking paracetamol for lower back pain does not improve recovery time or provide any greater pain relief than using a placebo, scientists say.
Well
Well
Tara Parker-Pope on Health

07/25/2014 09:37 AM
Best Time of Day for a Testosterone Test
Testosterone levels may fluctuate throughout the day, but variations are most important only in men younger than 45.
07/25/2014 09:36 AM
Tomatoes All Summer Long
Summer tomatoes are flourishing, and they go well with a wide variety of foods. Some can be used to make marinara sauce to get you through the winter, and the rest can be enjoyed raw and cooked in salads, sauces for everything from fish to vegetables to eggs, and breads.
07/24/2014 01:16 PM
The Workout: Practicing His Own Medicine
Dr. Metzl's favorite medicine is exercise. It is one he takes often and prescribes to all of his patients.
07/24/2014 09:42 AM
Seeing the Child, Not the Disability
"People in health care, they don’t stare at my son like he’s some kind of freak, you know? They see him for who he is," a patient's mother said at a recent appointment.
07/24/2014 08:45 AM
Living With Cancer: A Tour of Hospice
I welcomed the idea of touring a new hospice facility to confront my fears of pain while dying, writes Susan Gubar in her continuing "Living With Cancer" series.
07/23/2014 09:01 PM
Photography as a Balm for Mental Illness
An online gallery was created to provide a supportive community for photographers affected by mental illness.
07/23/2014 03:30 PM
Acetaminophen No Better Than Placebo for Back Pain
In a large trial, researchers discovered that pills like Tylenol and Anacin worked no better than a placebo, but could help with other pains.
07/22/2014 09:01 PM
How Our Arms Help Us Run
The ideal arm swing while running may be the one you’re already using, a new study of upper body biomechanics concludes.
07/21/2014 02:37 PM
A Sleep Apnea Test Without a Night in the Hospital
Take-home sleep tests, self-administered in more realistic settings, without myriad wires and sensors, promise more accurate results for people who may have sleep apnea or other conditions.
All Mayo Clinic health information topics
All Mayo Clinic health information topics
Mayo Clinic offers award-winning medical and health information and tools for healthy living.

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Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress

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Why are whole grains better than refined grains?


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