Quitting smoking after heart attack gives quick boost to mental health, quality of life​​

A new study shows that quitting smoking after a heart attack has immediate benefits, including less chest pain, better quality of daily life and improved mental health. Many of these improvements became apparent as little as one month after quitting and are more pronounced after one year, according to the research led by Sharon Cresci, MD, at the School of Medicine.
Gene variant linked to smoking longer, getting lung cancer sooner

Gene variant linked to smoking longer, getting lung cancer sooner

Smokers with a specific genetic variation are more likely to keep smoking longer than those who don’t have the gene variant. They’re also more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a younger age, according to new research from Laura Jean Bierut, MD (left), and Li-Shiun Chen, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Study looks at discrimination’s impact on smoking

Smoking, the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, continues to disproportionately impact lower income members of racial and ethnic minority groups. In a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at how perceived discrimination influences smoking rates among these groups. “We found that regardless of race or ethnicity, the odds of current smoking were higher among individuals who perceived that they were treated differently because of their race, though racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to report discrimination,” he says. 

New master of public health degree accepting applications

People committed to improving the health of vulnerable communities and populations have a new degree option at Washington University in St. Louis — a Master of Public Health (MPH). The MPH Program at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work is accepting applications for its first class. The Brown School regularly hosts information sessions about its academic programs. The school plans a special half-day “Focus on MPH” event on February 13 from 8:30 – 1:30 p.m. Individuals who have applied or plan to apply for the fall 2009 semester should attend. The event will be held in Brown Hall Lounge.

Cigarette smoking impairs ligament healing, researchers find

The list of reasons you shouldn’t smoke has gotten longer. Researchers at the School of Medicine are reporting that smoking interferes with ligament healing. Each year in the United States there are more than 20 million reported ligament injuries, and MCL injuries — which affect a ligament supporting the knee joint — are the most common. Studying mice with MCL injuries, the team discovered cigarette smoking impairs the recruitment of cells to the injury site and delays healing following ligament repair surgery.

Cigarette smoking impairs ligament healing, researchers find

The list of reasons you shouldn’t smoke has gotten longer. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are reporting that smoking interferes with ligament healing. Each year in the United States there are more than 20 million reported ligament injuries, and MCL injuries—which affect a ligament supporting the knee joint—are the most common. Studying mice with MCL injuries, the team discovered cigarette smoking impairs the recruitment of cells to the injury site and delays healing following ligament repair surgery.

Studies identify DNA regions linked to nicotine dependence

Americans are bombarded with antismoking messages, yet at least 65 million of us continue to light up. Genetic factors play an important role in this continuing addiction to cigarettes, suggest scientists at the School of Medicine. They show that certain genetic variations can influence smoking behaviors and contribute to a person’s risk for nicotine dependence.
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