ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
CANCER
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Smog Tougher on the Obese
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
The Unmedicated Mind
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
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Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span

THURSDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- During Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, female smokers should take advantage of available resources, pick a quit day, and start taking steps toward kicking the habit, urges The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Even though smoking takes an average of 14.5 years off women's lives, almost one in five American women age 18 and older smokes.

"The damaging effects of smoking on women are extensive, well-documented, and can be observed from the cradle to the premature grave," Dr. Sharon Phelan said in an organization news release. She helped develop ACOG's smoking cessation materials for health care providers.

"Smoking is a harmful habit that negatively affects nearly every organ in the body. There's just no good reason not to quit," she said.

Here's a list of the dangers:

* Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in women. Since 1950, lung cancer deaths among women have increased more than 600 percent, according to ACOG.
* Smoking also significantly increases the risk of many other cancers in women, including breast, oral, pharynx, larynx, esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, bladder, uterine, and cervical cancers.
* Women who smoke are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease and 10 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than nonsmokers.
* Smoking increases the risk of emphysema, bronchitis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, lower bone density after menopause, and hip fracture. It can also contribute to early menopause, gum disease, tooth loss, and premature skin aging.
* Reproductive-age women who smoke may have trouble conceiving, and pregnant women who smoke are at high risk of delivering preterm or low birth weight infants or having babies with poor lung function, bronchitis or asthma.
* Women over age 35 who smoke and take birth control pills are at risk for developing deadly blood clots.

"Pregnant women should absolutely not smoke, and smoking should not be allowed in the home after a baby is born," Phelan said. "Unfortunately, we know that infants and young children are more heavily exposed to secondhand smoke than adults, and parents, guardians, or other members of the household often smoke around them."

Almost 60 percent of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke, which puts them at increased risk for a wide range of health problems.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about women and smoking.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, news release, Nov. 3, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 27, 2008

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