ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
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'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
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ANIMAL CARE
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BONES & JOINTS
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Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
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CANCER
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Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
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CAREGIVING
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Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
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Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
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Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
EYE CARE, VISION
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Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
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Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
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Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
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INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
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INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
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Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
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Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
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Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
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Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
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Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage

(HealthDay News) -- People who have asthma and who also smoke could reverse some of the damage to their lungs by saying no to cigarettes, new Dutch research suggests.

"We found that exposure to cigarette smoke appears to increase the thickness of the epithelium, or lining, of the airways in the lung," Martine Broekema, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society. "This may be the underlying cause of the fact that smoking asthma patients experience more asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath and phlegm production, compared to nonsmoking asthma patients."

The researchers looked at 147 people with asthma symptoms, including 35 smokers, 46 ex-smokers and 66 people who had never smoked.

People who currently smoked had more cells that produce mucous than did those who never smoked, the researchers found. "These pathological findings were associated with the severity of phlegm production reported by the asthma patients, suggesting a causal relationship between the two," Broekema said. "Smoking asthmatics also showed a distinct inflammatory profile in their lungs compared to never-smoking asthmatics."

"Furthermore, our data suggest that smoking cessation can reverse the thickening of the lining of the airways," she said.

The findings are published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the big picture, "this study shows again how important smoking cessation is for pulmonary health, and this appears to be especially true for asthmatic patients," Broekema said. "The good news is that quitting appears to have a measurable benefit in these individuals."

SOURCES: American Thoracic Society, news release, Dec. 7, 2009 Published on: December 07, 2009