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Articles of Interest

Reducing the incidence of smoking is the single most effective public health intervention we could make as a nation.
How We Can Reduce Cancer Risk and Lower Health Costs
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Insight

2019

Nackerdien, Zeena. "E-Cig Flavors May Damage Cardiovascular Cells." MedPage Today, June 6, 2019.

One of the risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) diseases is smoking-induced endothelial dysfunction. Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, of the Stanford School of Medicine in California, and colleagues used iPSC-ECs to assess the health impact of e-cigarettes. By definition, these cells can become many different cell types, and therefore provided investigators with a means to study cells that would be hard to isolate from any given patient.

CHICAGO–In patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), both current and former smoking is associated with worse treatment outcomes in treatment-naïve patients. A history of smoking is associated with molecular and cytogenetic risk factors, suggesting that it is tied to biological characteristics of the tumor rather than smoking-related comorbidities.

Collins, Frances. "Ultra-Processed Diet Leads to Extra Calories, Weight Gain." NIH Director's Blog, May 21, 2019.

If you’ve ever tried to lose a few pounds or just stay at a healthy weight, you’ve likely encountered a dizzying array of diets, each with passionate proponents: low carb, low fat, keto, paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, and so on. Yet most nutrition experts agree on one thing: it’s best to steer clear of ultra-processed foods. Now, there’s some solid scientific evidence to back up that advice.

One of lung cancer’s most lethal attributes is its ability to trick radiologists. Some nodules appear threatening but turn out to be false positives. Others escape notice entirely, and then spiral without symptoms into metastatic disease.

On Monday, however, Google unveiled an artificial intelligence system that — in early testing — demonstrated a remarkable talent for seeing through lung cancer’s disguises.

Hsiang, Esther Y.; Shivan J. Mehta; Dylan S. Small; Charles A.L. Rareshide; Christopher K. Snider; Susan C. Day; Mitesh S. Patel . "Association of Primary Care Clinic Appointment Time With Clinician Ordering and Patient Completion of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Screening." Jama Network, May 10, 2019.

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality in the United States.  Appropriate cancer screening can be effective in decreasing both morbidity and mortality by detecting and treating cancers at an earlier stage.  However, underuse of cancer screening tests is common.  For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among patients who meet guideline recommendations, approximately 37% of adults have not been screened for colorectal cancer, and 28% of women have not been screened for breast cancer.

Mike Fillon. "Greater support and resources needed for cancer survivors returning to work." Wiley Online Library, April 26, 2019.

A new Canadian study published in Psychooncology (2019;28:792‐798. doi:10.1002/pon.5021) reports that cancer survivors face a range of problems in the workplace, including stigma and misperceptions about their abilities; a higher risk of losing their job compared with healthy controls; a lack of understanding regarding their work abilities, productivity, and reliability; and costs associated with their continued employment.

Zraick, Karen; Emily S. Rueb. "Walgreens Is Latest to Raise Vaping (and Smoking) Age to 21." The New York Times, April 23, 2019.

The drugstore chain Walgreens will stop selling tobacco products to customers under 21, the company announced on Tuesday.

Jacobs, Megan. "Yes, You Still Have Smokers in Your Workplace." The EX Program, April 10, 2019.

Now that smoking is no longer the employee health issue it once was, companies can turn their attention to other wellness program strategies, right?

Unfortunately not.

Because smoking in the workplace today isn’t always obvious, that’s led some employers to believe this type of addiction isn’t a big issue anymore. Out of sight, out of mind, out of HR planning.

That misperception can be very costly on multiple levels—from direct productivity losses to higher healthcare expenditures. Even worse, it means those who do smoke won’t get the help they need.

Kaplan, Sheila. "Senator McConnell, a Tobacco Ally, Supports Raising Age to Buy Cigarettes." The New York Times, April 18, 2019.

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell, long one of the tobacco industry’s loyal allies, said on Thursday that he would sponsor legislation to raise the minimum age to 21 for the purchase of tobacco and e-cigarettes.

McGinley, Laurie. "The Disturbing Links Between Too Much Weight and Several Types of Cancer." The Washington Post, April 14, 2019.

It’s not that often that you hear a top Trump official unabashedly blaming a US company for a health crisis. But that’s exactly what FDA chief Scott Gottlieb did Tuesday in an interview during his final week in office.

Clinicians and public health practitioners should start considering the concept of flourishing when examining patients and assessing population-level health trends, according to a new Viewpoint article in JAMA, authored by Tyler VanderWeele, Ph.D. (Human Flourishing Program — Harvard), Eileen McNeely, Ph.D. (SHINE— Harvard), and Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H. (Culture of Health — Harvard). It explores how even more holistic measures of “well-being” from medicine, psychology, economics, sociology, and government, while coming closer to capturing an individual’s complete wellbeing, still often fall short.

Boyles, Salynn. "Survey of Adults' Perceptions of E-Cig Safety Yields Surprise." Med Page Today, March 29, 2019.

Adults in the U.S. increasingly think electronic cigarettes are as harmful as combustible cigarettes, if not more so, according to findings from two multiyear national surveys.

Munarriz, Rick. "Disney Bans Smoking at Disney World and Disneyland." The Motley Fool, March 28, 2019.

It's going to be harder to get your smoke on at one of Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) domestic theme parks in a few weeks. Smoking will no longer be permitted inside Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and water parks starting May 1. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and Downtown Disney in California will also be participating in the ban. 

 

"Higher consumption of sugary beverages linked with increased risk of mortality." Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, March 18, 2019.

The more sugar-sweetened beverages(SSBs) people consumed, the greater their risk of premature death—particularly death from cardiovascular disease, and to a lesser extent from cancer, according to a large long-term study of U.S. men and women. The risk of early death linked with drinking SSBs was more pronounced among women.

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