Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study

The study, reported in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, included data from 3,300 high school girls

Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study
Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study. Pixabay

While looking slim is in fashion amongst teenaged girls, intentional weight loss might increase the risk of developing health-compromising behaviour like smoking, binge drinking and skipping breakfast, warn researchers.

Teenaged dieters were 1.6 times more likely to smoke and skip breakfast, and 1.5 times more likely to smoke and engage in binge drinking than those who were not dieting.

“Post-puberty changes often lead to weight gain among girls and there is incredible pressure from social media and elsewhere to obtain and maintain the ideal body,” said lead author Amanda Raffoul from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

“Intentional weight loss is not something we should necessarily encourage, especially among this population, since it’s possible that well-meaning initiatives that promote dieting may be doing more harm than good.”

“Instead, we should focus on health broadly rather than weight as an indicator of health,” Raffoul added.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The study, reported in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, included data from 3,300 high school girls.

The results showed that compared to girls who were not dieting at the time of initial data collection, those who were dieting were more likely to engage in one or more clusters of other risky behaviours three years later.

“The link between dieting and other health-compromising behaviours is worrisome since 70 per cent of girls reported dieting at some point over the three years,” Raffoul added.

According to Sharon Kirkpatrick, Professor from the varsity, the study looks at the important health related factors “including behaviours and the array of influences on them, in combination”.

“Only by understanding the complex ways in which these factors interact can we identify effective interventions, as well as predict and monitor potential unintended effects of such interventions,” she added. (IANS)

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Smokers, Diabetics and Hypertensives Likely to Suffer Strokes Due to Covid-19, Doctors Suggest

The novel Coronavirus appears to cause sudden strokes in heavy smokers, diabetic and people suffering from hypertension, suggest doctors

COVID-19 causes stroke in smokers, diabetics, doctors suggest. Pixabay

The novel COVID-19 that has been mutating rapidly appears to cause sudden strokes in people, who are heavy smokers, diabetic and suffering from hypertension, doctors suggested on Saturday.

They said there is growing evidence to suggest that Covid-19 infection can cause the blood to clot in unusual ways, and as a consequence stroke could be an outcome.

Nishith Chandra, Director Interventional Cardiology at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said lots of younger people, who had symptoms of Covid-19 infection, are succumbing to strokes in the US and the UK. “Due to Covid-19 blood clotting increases in many parts of the body – heart, lungs, liver, brain, kidney and lower limbs.

“Whatever pattern we got from Italy, the clinical profile is nearly the same. Trends show thrombosis in Indian patients. There is a possibility that stroke is likely to emerge in Indian disease pattern” said Chandra.The doctor insisted smokers and diabetic persons are more vulnerable to strokes, and it is important to exercise strict blood sugar control. “H1N1had no thrombosis, but Covid-19 has”, he added.

According to studies from the Netherlands and France, it is indicative that clots appear in 20 to 30 per cent of critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Covid-19 to severly affect smokers, diabetics and hypertensives causing stroke. Pixabay

Sujeet Jha, Principal Director at Endocrinology Diabetes Max Health Care, said that clinicians should investigate all unusual strokes or even heart attacks with possible link of Covid- 19 infection. Blood tends to be thicker with severe infection which results in small or larger clots which may cause sudden blockages of blood supply to part of the brain and they can lead to weakness or paralysis of the body.

“Covid-19 infection presenting with cerebrovascular accident (stroke) up to 5 to 6 per cent, from different studies. It’s seen more commonly who has severe infection and associated comorbid conditions which are similar to lung syndromes like advancing age Diabetes Hypertension Coronary artery disease ,though certain young persons have also presented for the first time with stroke based on US Studies”, Jha added. He insisted that diabetes is well known to increase risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 2-3 times, and most early deaths in diabetes are due to CVD.

Reportedly, researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City, reported Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilation, who received blood thinners, had a lower mortality than those who weren’t treated with them.

Also Read: Middle-age People Likely to Be More Stressed Now than in 1990s: Study

Manisha Chakrabarti, senior consultant in congenital and paediatric heart diseases at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said heavy smokers, diabetics, people having hypertension and pre-existing cardiac condition are vulnerable to strokes due to Covid-19. “Thromboembolic events are linked to Covid-19. In the US, in children inflammation of coronary arteries was seen, and there is a possibility of clot formation in arteries…coronavirus is causing damage to organs”, added Chakrabarti. (IANS)

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5 Risks Associated With Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy can be dangerous

Smoking during pregnancy can be dangerous for both the mother and offspring. Pixabay

Remember, there is no such thing as a safe amount of smoking. Every puff of a cigarette releases harmful chemicals that effect both the baby and the mother. Smoking anytime during the pregnancy is harmful.

Quit Smoking before you are pregnant and have started planning a pregnancy or if you haven’t done that quit as soon as possible during pregnancy.

Second hand smoking is as dangerous as first hand smoking; and nicotine in E-Cigarette are equally harmful for baby.

The danger of smoking during pregnancy includes a higher incidence risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preterm birth and placental abruption, low birth weight babies and increased rate of neonatal mobility and mortality, congenital malformations. There is an increased chance of visual and hearing impairment, mental disability, cerebral palsy and sudden infant death syndrome.

Quit Smoking before you are pregnant and have started planning a pregnancy . Pixabay

The nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar in cigarette are responsible for these harmful effects. Newer studies shown that in utero exposure to smoking also has long term neonatal adverse outcomes such as impaired neurological development, endocrine dysfunction and oncogenesis. These continue to manifest in early as well as late childhood. Post- Delivery harmful effects on baby’s health are sudden infant death syndrome, attention deficit hyper activity (ADHD) disorder and poor academic performance in school.

Carbon Monoxide in cigarette smoke gets absorbed in the maternal body and rapidly binds to hemoglobin forms carboxyhemoglobin a baseline carboxyhemoglobin of 4 percent – 8percent; this is in contrast to nonsmokers who have an average of 0 percent – 1 percent of carboxyhemoglobin. These lower the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin which leads to impaired oxygen delivery to the uterine muscle and feto placental unit, leading to impaired fetal growth and preterm birth.

The tar content in cigarette smoke forms a residue on the mucus membrane and lungs of the smokers. Tar contains the majority of carcinogens compounds which interfere with biochemical pathway. These lead to an increase in miscarriage and fetal growth problems and fetal teratogenic effects. The heavy metal cadmium in cigarette smoke is known to accumulate in the placenta circulation leading to fetal growth restriction.

Long term health risks for the baby have also been seen in women who smoked during pregnancy. These babies are more prone to cold, cough, lung problem, learning disabilities and physical growth problems which can be more severe if a mother continues to smoke after the baby is born.

The danger of smoking during pregnancy includes a higher incidence risk of miscarriage. Pixabay

5 dangers of smoking during pregnancy

1.) Miscarriage and still birth due to effect of cigarette smoke on feto placental circulation.

2.) Ectopic pregnancy due to effect of nicotine on contraction in the fallopian tube.

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3.) Placental abruption, this is a condition in which placenta separates from the uterus before the birth of the baby causing severe bleeding and endangering life of mother and baby. Placenta previa which means placenta remain in the lower part of the uterus completely or partially this is associated with bleeding problems during pregnancy again risking life of mother and baby.

4.) Preterm birth and low birth weight babies-Numerous health risk associated with a preterm birth leading to increased neonatal morbidity and mortality, visual and hearing impairment.

5.) Birth Defects most common types of problem are congenital heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palete. (IANS)

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Smokers And People With COPD At Higher Risk: Study

Smoking habits and COPD disease have a certain inclination towards COVID-19 infecting the lungs.

Smoking habits and suffering from COPD having higher chances of infection from coronavirus in the lungs. Pixabay

In probably the first study to link smoking with severe COVID-19 risk, a team of researchers now claim that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and people who currently smoke have a higher level of an enzyme that is the ‘entry point for new coronavirus in lungs.

Previous research shows that the molecule, called angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE-2) which sits on the surface of lung cells, is the ‘entry point’ that allows coronavirus to get into the cells of the lungs and cause an infection.

The new study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, showed that levels of ACE-2 in former smokers are lower than in current smokers.

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“The data emerging from China suggested that patients with COPD were at higher risk of having worse outcomes from COVID-19. We hypothesized that this could be because the levels of ACE-2 in their airways might be increased compared to people without COPD, which could possibly make it easier for the virus to infect the airway,” explained lead researcher Dr. Janice Leung from the University of British Columbia and St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada.

The data emerging from China suggested that patients with COPD were at higher risk of having worse outcomes from COVID-19. Pixabay

The team studied samples taken from the lungs of 21 COPD patients and 21 people who did not have COPD.

They tested the samples to gauge the level of ACE-2 and compared this with other factors, such as whether they were from people who never smoked, were current smokers or former smokers. Not only did they find higher levels of ACE-2 in COPD patients, but they also found higher levels in people who were smokers.

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The researchers then checked their new findings against two existing study groups, which together contain data on a further 249 people – some non-smokers, some current smokers, and some former smokers.

Again, they found levels of ACE-2 were higher in current smokers but lower in non-smokers and in those who were former smokers.

Levels of ACE-2 were higher in current smokers but lower in non-smokers and in those who were former smokers. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“We found that patients with COPD and people who are still smoking have higher levels of ACE-2 in their airways, which might put them at an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infections,” said Dr. Leung.

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Patients with COPD should be counselled to strictly abide by social distancing and proper hand hygiene to prevent infection.

“We also found that former smokers had similar levels of ACE-2 to people who had never smoked. This suggests that there has never been a better time to quit smoking to protect yourself from COVID-19,” the authors wrote.

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Professor Tobias Welte, an infection expert from the European Respiratory Society and is a coordinator for the national German COVID-19 task force, said that the study gives some interesting insight into why some people may be at risk of more severe COVID-19 symptoms than others.

“What it does not tell us is whether it’s possible to manipulate ACE-2 levels to improve survival in patients infected with COVID-19 or whether this would make a difference in COPD patients who contract the infection,” explained Welte. (IANS)