A new study of twins hints at the ways smoking makes you look older than you really are.
In what is perhaps the best detail of the study, researchers used the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio (the "Largest Annual Gathering of Twins in the World!") to round up the 79 identical pairs they include in the report. A panel of three plastic surgery residents compared the faces of the twins, one of which had been smoking for at least five years longer than the other.
They identified a few major areas of accelerated aging in the faces of the smoking twins: The smokers' upper eyelids drooped while the lower lids sagged, and they had more wrinkles around the mouth. The smokers were also more likely to have jowls, according to the study, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Smoking reduces oxygen to the skin, which also decreases blood circulation, and that can result in weathered, wrinkled, older-looking skin, explains Dr. Bahman Guyuron, a plastic surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio, and the lead author of the study.
Read more from NBC News.
In the largest-ever genetic analysis of Alzheimer's, scientists have discovered 11 genes that may be tied to the late-onset form of the dementia disease.
Scientists scanned the brains of 74,076 older volunteers with Alzheimer's and others who did not have the disease in 15 countries to come up with their findings. The study was published in Nature Genetics.
Only 11 gene variants had been linked to late-onset Alzheimer's disease, including one called Apolipoprotein E-e4 (APOE-e4) which appeared to have the strongest effect on risk.
Now, with the latest research, scientists have doubled the known gene variants linked to the disease to 22.
These genes may play a role in how cells function, including how microglial cells (cells that form the support structure of the central nervous system) react to areas of inflammation. Other gene variants were shown to affect brain cell function and synaptic function in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
In particular, researchers say the link to one newly discovered gene variant known as HLA-DRB5/DRB1 is a landmark finding. It plays a large role in the major histocompatibility complex region of the brain, which is an area of cell surface molecules that control how white blood cells -- which are involved in the immune system -- interact. This area of the brain has also been connected with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. It could mean that the immune system has something to do with Alzheimer's.
"We've doubled the number of genes discovered and a very strong pattern is emerging," Julie Williams, a professor at the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute at Cardiff University who lead part of the international study, told the BBC. "There is something in the immune response which is causing Alzheimer's disease and we need to look at that."
Read more from CBS News.
Costco in Coon Rapids is recalling lean fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said today.
The recall is of 383 units of 88 percent lean fresh ground beef (88/12). It has the Costco item number 33724 under the Costco label. It was sold directly to 342 consumers in a Costco at 12547 Riverdale Blvd. in Coon Rapids between Sept. 4 and 7.
FSIS was notified of an E. coli O157:H7 illness on Oct. 17. Working with Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Health, FSIS determined that there is a link between the ground beef product from Costco and this illness. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, one person was identified as becoming ill on about Sept. 29.
The product was prepared from bull meat and finely ground beef from the Costco Wholesale plant in Tracy, Calif., and bench trim prepared at the Costco Wholesale in Coon Rapids. The steaks or roasts that were the source of the bench trim may have originated from as many as 16 federally inspected establishments. FSIS continues to work with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Health on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
More than two out of every five middle and high school students who smoke report using either flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2011 data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey are the first to measure how many American youth are using flavored little cigars and flavored cigarettes.
The study also shows that among youth cigar smokers, almost 60 percent of those who smoke flavored little cigars are not thinking about quitting tobacco use, compared with just over 49 percent among all other cigar smokers.
"Flavored or not, cigars cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many other health problems. Flavored little cigars appeal to youth, and the use of these tobacco products may lead to disfigurement, disability, and premature death," said CDC Director Tom Frieden. "We need to take comprehensive steps to reduce all tobacco use for all of our youth."
The study found that 35.4 percent of current youth cigarette smokers reported using flavored cigarettes, which could include menthol cigarettes or flavored little cigars that students mistook for flavored cigarettes. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was enacted and prohibited the use of flavors, except menthol, in cigarettes. However, flavored little cigars are still manufactured and sold with candy and fruit flavorings.
"Little cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes," said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. "Many flavored little cigars appear virtually indistinguishable from cigarettes with similar sizes, shapes, filters, and packaging."
In addition to offering a wide variety of flavors that appeal to young people, little cigars are taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes at the state level. Little cigars have become more popular in recent years; sales increased 240 percent from 1997 to 2007, with flavored brands making up almost 80 percent of the market share.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. The health consequences of tobacco use include heart disease, multiple types of cancer, pulmonary disease, adverse reproductive effects, and the exacerbation of chronic health conditions. Smoking and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke kill an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. And for every one death, there are 20 people suffering from a smoking-related disease. In addition to the cost in human life, smoking has been estimated to cost $193 billion annually in direct health care expenses and lost productivity. And 99 percent of all smokers start before they’re 26 years old.
Obesity among U.S. adults is continuing to level off after several decades of skyrocketing growth, new government data show.
In 2012, about 34.9% of the people in this country were obese, which is roughly 35 pounds over a healthy weight. That is not significantly different from the 35.7% who were obese in 2010.
In both 2010 and 2012 about 78 million adults were obese; more than 50 million of those were white, according to the latest statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Even though it looks like a slight drop in the percentage of adults who are obese, this difference is not statistically significant," says Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics. "This is more evidence that we're not seeing a change in adult obesity."
Harvey Grill, president of the Obesity Society, says, "The fact that we're at 35% of adult Americans who are obese is extremely troubling because their obesity will result in health problems for the majority of them."
Read more from USA Today.