Saturday, February 14, 2015

On Smoking and Early Croaking

To Croak, Slang: To Die

The general public associates smoking mostly with lung cancer. But the truth is that smoking also contributes to increased death rates with 21 common diseases.

A report from the Epidemiology Research Program, of the American Cancer Society, after studying deaths in 412,378 man and 532, 651 women aged 55 years or older, puts it this way;

“Mortality among current smokers is 2 to 3 times as high as that among persons who never smoked. Most of this excess mortality is believed to be explained by 21 common disease that have been formally established a caused by cigarette smoking.

Brian Carter et al, “Smoking and Mortality – Beyond the Established Causes, New England Journal of Medicine, February 12, 2014
These are the 21 diseases with the relative risks for either women and men or both is more than 2 times the risk than among non-smokers.

1. Lung cancer, Women, 22.9, Men, 25.3

2. Laryngeal cancer, Women, 103.8, Men, 25.3

3. Aortic aneurysm, Women, 10.1, Men, 7.5

4. Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, Women. 25.0, Men, 27.8

5. Esophageal Cancer, Women, 5.1, Men, 3.5

6. Urinary Bladder Cancer, Women, 3.9, Men, 3.9

7. Ischemic Heart Disease, Women, 3.0, Men, 2.6

8. Other Arterial Diseases, Women, 5.6, Men, 5.3

9. ischemic Diseases of the Intestine, Women, 6.1, Men, 5.6

10. All causes, women, 2.8, men, 2.8

11. Liver Cirrhosis, Women, 2.6, Men, 3.6

12. Total Stroke, Women, 2.1, Men, 1.9

13. Atherosclerosis, Women, 2.1, men, 5.0

14. Liver Cancer, Women, 1.8, Men, 2.3

15. Other Heart Disease, Women, 1.9, Men, 2.0

16. Pneumonia, Flu, T.B, Women, 1.9, Men 2.0

17. All Infections, Women, 2.5, Men, 2.2

18. Cancers of Unknown Site, Women, 2.7, Men, 3.2

19. Hypertensive Heart Disease, Women. 1.9, Men, 2.9

20. Essential Hypertension and Renal Hypertension, Women, 2.4, Men, 2.6

21. All Respiratory Diseases, Women, 1.9, Men,,2.0

The authors conclude, “Our results suggest that the number of people in the United States who die each year from the results of smoking cigarettes may be substantially greater than currently estimated."

So, in the words of a country Western song, you may want to Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! That Cigarette! but when you do, you run a much greater risk of premature death than previously thought; you stand a greater risk of developing a number of common diseases other than lung cancer; and you can expect to live 10 fewer years than non-smokers

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