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Roundup: Long-Term Lung Damage from Vaping; Weight Loss Cuts Breast Cancer Risk; and 2 Apples a Day

First Long-Term Study Ties Vaping to Higher Risks of Chronic Lung Diseases

Researcher say the first long-term study of the health effects of e-cigarettes, or vaping devices, finds that these products linked to an increased risk of chronic lung diseases, compared to regular cigarettes.

As part of their findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine [1], researchers tracked e-cigarette users for three years, and found that they had a 1.3-times higher risk of developing respiratory disease than people who did not use any tobacco product. Moreover, cigarette smokers had a 2.5-times higher risk — and those who both smoked and vaped had a 3.3-times higher risk.

Study participants included 32,000 U.S. e-cigarette users, none of whom had any signs of lung disease when the study started in 2013.

“E-cigarette use predicted the development of lung disease over a very short period of time. It only took three years,” the study’s author, Stanton Glantz, of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education of the University of California, San Francisco, told NBCNews.com.

She added that any adult smokers who tried e-cigarettes ended up using both forms of tobacco, e-Cigs and traditional cigarettes. Combining regular cigarettes and e-cigs more than tripled the risk of developing chronic lung diseases, researchers found.

The illnesses studied are different from the recent trend of vaping-related illnesses nationwide, called EVALI, or “e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury.” Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there were 2,409 EVALI cases across all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. No single cause has been identified to explain all EVALI cases. Substances added to the vaping oils, such as vitamin E acetate, heavy metals, flavorings and other toxins have been cited as possible factors.

In the new, long-term study, researchers concluded that “use of e-cigarettes is an independent risk factor for respiratory disease in addition to combustible tobacco smoking. Dual use, the most common use pattern, is riskier than using either product alone.”

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Losing Weight After 50 Can Lower Breast Cancer Risk, Study Finds

It’s already known that obesity increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer after menopause, while more than 2 out of 3 women in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

A new study finds that women who lose weight after age 50 — and keep it off — have a lower risk of breast cancer, compared to women whose weight stay the same, according to researchers at the American Cancer Society and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study was published this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute [4].

Women who were able to lose just 4.5 pounds, and keep the weight off, were found to have a 13 percent lower risk for breast cancer. Women who lost at least 20 pounds reduced their risk by about a quarter.

This is the first large study to show that losing weight can reduce breast cancer risk, according to findings from researchers at the American Cancer Society, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The findings did not include women using post-menopausal hormone therapy.

The study confirms that it’s never too late to benefit from losing weight, and that goes for women who’ve gained weight even after age 50.

Researchers looked at data from 10 separate studies, which included a total of 180,000 women over age 50 who were tracked for a decade. Nearly 7,000 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer during that time. Researchers accounted for other risk factors that can impact obesity and/or breast cancer risk, including physical activity levels and whether the women were on hormone replacement therapy.

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New Guidelines Urge ‘Exercise Prescriptions’ to Help Prevent Cancer, Improve Treatments [5]


Two Apples a Day can Help Lower ‘Bad’ Cholesterol, Study Says

The adage goes: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. A new study goes a bit further: two apples a day can keep your bad cholesterol down.

Researchers monitored 40 people with slightly high cholesterol. They each ate two large apples a day for eight weeks. The results: their levels of “bad” cholesterol was lower by almost four percent. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in arteries. Bad cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol, can block your arteries and trigger a heart attack.

The benefits of eating apples regularly are mostly the result of the fruit’s high fiber content. Fiber can fuel the healthy bacteria in the gut, which helps lower choelsterol.

“It seems the old adage of an apple day was nearly right,” said Julie Lovegrove, senior author of the study from researchers at the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at the University of Reading in England.

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