10 Overlooked Reasons to Quit Smoking
If you need more incentive to quit smoking, here are some reasons that you may not know about.
"More than a quarter of all cases of age-related macular degeneration with
blindness or visual impairment are attributable to current or past exposure to
smoking," Simon P. Kelly, MD, an ophthalmic
surgeon with Bolton Hospitals in the U.K, wrote in the March 4, 2004 issue of
the BMJ. He came to his conclusion after reviewing three studies
involving 12,470 patients.
But other studies show that former smokers have an only slightly increased
risk of age-related macular degeneration, compared with never smokers, he
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Genetically Vulnerable Smokers Increase Their
Risk Even More
People whose genes make them more susceptible to developing rheumatoid
arthritis are even more likely to get the disease if they smoke, say Swedish
In fact, certain genetically vulnerable smokers can be nearly 16 times more
likely to develop the disease than nonsmokers without the same genetic profile,
according to the study in the October issue of the journal Arthritis &
Swedish researchers asked participants about their smoking habits and
screened their blood for a gene-encoding protein sequence called the shared
epitope (SE), which is the major genetic risk factor currently linked to rheumatoid
arthritis. Compared with people who had never smoked and lacked SE genes,
current smokers with SE genes were 7.5 times more likely to have rheumatoid
Smokers with double SE genes were almost 16 times more likely to have
rheumatoid arthritis, while smokers without SE genes were only 2.4 times more
likely to be affected.
Snoring: Even Living
With a Smoker Raises Risk
Smoking - or living with a smoker -- can cause snoring, according to a study
of more than 15,000 men and women.
Habitual snoring, defined as loud and disturbing snoring at least three
nights per week, affected 24% of smokers, 20% of ex-smokers, and almost 14% of
people who had never smoked. The more people smoked, the more frequently they
snored, the researchers reported in the October issue of the American
Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Even nonsmokers were more likely to snore if they were exposed to secondhand
smoke in their homes. Almost 20% of these nonsmokers snored, compared with
nearly 13% who had never been exposed to secondhand
smoke at home.
Acid Reflux: Heavy Smoking Linked to Heartburn
People who smoke for more than 20 years are 70% more likely to have acid
reflux disease than nonsmokers, researchers reported in the November issue of
the journal Gut.
Roughly one in five people suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, known
medically as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
The researchers based their findings on two major public health surveys
conducted in Norway in the 1980s and 1990s. Just more than 3,100 people who
complained of having heartburn and 40,000 people without reflux symptoms
answered questions about lifestyle factors including diet, exercise,
alcohol consumption, and tobacco use.