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

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: Most respond well to genetic testing results

People at high risk for psychological distress respond positively to receiving results of personalized genetic testing, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. More than 60 percent of subjects in the genetic study wanted information about their test results, and 95 percent said they appreciated receiving the information, regardless of whether the results were good or bad news.

Americans drink less when cigarettes cost more

Washington University researchers Melissa Krauss and Richard Grucza, PhD, led a team that analyzed data from all 50 states and found that higher cigarette taxes and policies prohibiting smoking in public places are associated with a decrease in alcohol consumption.

Study: Smoking may contribute to suicide risk

Cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide than people who don’t smoke, a relationship that has been attributed to the fact that numerous people with psychiatric disorders, who have higher suicide rates, also tend to smoke. But a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis finds that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that policies to limit smoking reduce suicide rates.

People with autistic tendencies vulnerable to alcohol problems

Young adults with autistic tendencies don’t often engage in social or binge drinking, but if they drink, they are slightly more likely than their peers to develop alcohol problems, according to new research from Duneesha De Alwis (right) and Arpana Agrawal at the School of Medicine.

Smoking may dull obese women’s ability to taste fat and sugar

People who smoke also tend to eat more high-fat foods. So do obese people. Now, a team of researchers, including M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, at the School of Medicine, has found that obese women who also smoke have a difficult time perceiving fat and sweetness in their food. And that could lead them to eat even more fatty foods.

Smoking cessation may improve mental health

Although many health professionals who treat people with psychiatric problems overlook their patients’ smoking habits, new research at the School of Medicine shows that people who struggle with mood problems or addiction can safely quit smoking and that kicking the habit is associated with improved mental health.
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