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

By 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...
Today's World Health News...
BBC News - Health
BBC News - Health
The latest stories from the Health section of the BBC News web site.

09/30/2014 12:51 AM
PM vows seven-day GP access by 2020
David Cameron announces plans to ensure seven-day GP access is rolled out across England by 2020.
09/30/2014 05:42 AM
Thousands of Ebola orphans 'shunned'
At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who have lost one or both parents to Ebola this year face being shunned, the UN says.
09/29/2014 04:28 PM
Children hit by tooth decay at three
More than one in 10 three-year-olds have tooth decay, the first survey of the age group shows.
09/30/2014 05:32 AM
Boy's life-support should end - judge
A boy with irreversible brain damage should be taken off a life-support machine despite the objections of his parents, a High Court judge rules.
09/29/2014 04:29 PM
Scans 'could halve stillbirth rate'
More than half of stillbirths in the UK could be prevented if the NHS implemented additional scans, a leading obstetrician tells Panorama.
09/29/2014 09:02 PM
Antibiotic 'link to child obesity'
A large American study suggests young children who are given repeated courses of antibiotics are more likely than those given fewer drugs to be obese.
09/29/2014 09:11 AM
Midwives vote for strike action
Midwives will be joining other NHS workers in England in a strike over pay next month.
09/28/2014 04:00 PM
Heart disease warnings 'missed'
Many adults in the UK are unaware of the risk factors for heart disease, according to a new poll.
09/26/2014 02:42 PM
W Africa Ebola deaths 'pass 3,000'
The death toll from the world's worst Ebola outbreak, in West Africa, passes 3,000, the World Health Organization says.
09/26/2014 08:53 AM
Spleen rupture death 'preventable'
An inquest concludes a patient who died after being discharged from Stafford Hospital with an undiagnosed ruptured spleen could have been saved.
Tara Parker-Pope on Health

09/29/2014 03:42 PM
Vets Face Rising Worry Over Fleas
Anecdotal reports suggest fleas are getting harder to control, but vets and product makers said the products still work.
09/29/2014 03:35 PM
After Surgery, Predicting a Speedy Recovery
In a small study, researchers found that certain activity in patients’ immune systems correlated to different recovery times.
09/29/2014 01:15 PM
Working Long Hours Tied to Diabetes Risk
Working long hours may increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes, a new review has found, but the risk is only apparent in workers of lower socioeconomic status.
09/29/2014 07:52 AM
Celiac Disease, a Common, but Elusive, Diagnosis
A main reason for a lag in the detection of celiac disease is the long and confusing list of signs and symptoms, some of which may be mild enough to be easily ignored or attributed to another condition.
09/25/2014 09:45 PM
Ask Well: Weights Before Cardio?
The best available science indicates that the order of the exercises, or whether they should be combined in one workout, was immaterial.
09/25/2014 11:13 AM
A Rising Tide of Contaminants
New chemicals are turning up everywhere in the environment, and the health risks are mostly unknown.
09/25/2014 09:34 AM
Exercise and the Bounce Factor
Large breasts present a challenge in all kinds of sports.
09/25/2014 07:56 AM
My Father’s A.L.S.
My mother and I were out running errands one afternoon when she pulled the car over and told me the truth. It sounded like something from a horror movie.
09/24/2014 09:01 PM
A Doctor, a Rabbi and a Chicken
Of course it was fine to have a rabbi visit the hospital, I told my patient's son. It was only as they were about to enter the room that I noticed that the rabbi was carrying a white chicken in his arms.
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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Glycemic index diet: What's behind the claims

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09/25/2014 12:00 AM
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09/23/2014 12:00 AM
Medication errors: Cut your risk with these tips

09/23/2014 12:00 AM
Self-esteem check: Too low or just right?

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