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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).

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BBC News - Health
BBC News - Health
The latest stories from the Health section of the BBC News web site.

10/19/2014 04:06 PM
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Society is paying a "shocking" price for poor mental health care for pregnant women and new mothers in the UK, a report says.
10/19/2014 08:19 AM
Ebola nurse Pooley back in Africa
William Pooley, the British nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in West Africa, returns to Sierra Leone to work at a hospital.
10/19/2014 01:33 AM
Sport plan to aid mental health
A £2m programme using sport to help people suffering from mental health problems is announced by Sport England and Mind.
10/18/2014 10:02 PM
Pharmacies 'could save NHS £1bn'
Treating common ailments like coughs and colds at community pharmacies could save the NHS over £1bn a year, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society claims.
10/18/2014 04:03 PM
Gamblers' brains 'no endorphin rush'
The feeling of euphoria, or high, created by addictive behaviour is less obvious in the brains of problem gamblers, research suggests.
10/19/2014 06:06 AM
All nations 'have a stake' in Ebola
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says all nations have a stake in the fight against Ebola, which "respects no borders".
10/18/2014 04:09 AM
Labour pledges cancer test wait cut
By 2020 no-one in England will have to wait more than a week for cancer tests and results, Labour pledges.
10/17/2014 10:15 AM
Huge fake dental equipment haul
Thousands of pieces of counterfeit or sub-standard dental equipment imported from China have been seized by regulators.
10/16/2014 04:07 PM
Sugary drinks warning posters 'work'
Signs warning shoppers how much exercise they need to do to burn off the sugar in fizzy drinks could be a useful tool in the fight against obesity, research suggests.
10/17/2014 06:53 AM
Ebola screening for more UK airports
Ebola screening is to be extended Manchester and Birmingham airports, as a British ship carrying medical teams departs for Sierra Leone.
Tara Parker-Pope on Health

10/17/2014 01:56 PM
Ask Well: Do Mosquitoes Spread Ebola?
Mosquitoes spread a number of life-threatening illnesses, but can they spread Ebola? Thankfully, the answer is no, and the reason has to do wtih the unusual feeding and egg-laying cycle of female mosquitoes.
10/17/2014 11:04 AM
Mistakes in Treating Childhood Fractures
Childhood fractures are common, but the injuries are rarely treated correctly in emergency rooms, new research shows.
10/16/2014 12:54 PM
When Doctors and Nurses Work Together
A group of doctors and nurses at Yale-New Haven Hospital has been quietly working to change the culture of “defensive medicine” that so many have come to accept as inevitable.
10/15/2014 10:35 AM
Ask Well: Can Pets Get Ebola?
Ebola is found in many animals, including dogs, though cats may be immune.
10/14/2014 09:01 PM
What’s Your Fitness Age?
While you can't change your chronological age, you can turn back the clock on your 'fitness age.'
10/13/2014 06:20 PM
Vulnerability to Fructose Varies, Health Study Finds
In some people, consumption of the sugar sharply effects a hormone that helps to regulate fat accumulation, researchers at Harvard reported.
10/13/2014 03:09 PM
Epidurals May Be Given Early or Late in Labor
Whether a woman has an epidural early or late in labor makes no difference in birth outcome, a large review of studies has found.
10/13/2014 03:00 PM
Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk Tied to Lipid Levels
Abnormal lipid levels are associated with an increased risk for recurrence of prostate cancer, researchers report.
10/13/2014 02:37 PM
Ask Well: Ebola on Airplanes, Ebola in Sneezes
Can I get Ebola on a flight? What is the likelihood of Ebola being spread by sneezes?
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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