Smoking

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Smart Women Missing Stroke Risks and Warning Signs

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in both men and women (right behind heart disease and cancer). It occurs equally in men and women until age 75. After age 75 women are at much greater risk for stroke than men. Stroke incidence has been increasing in women of all ages. In recent years strokes have surged in the age 45 to 54 age groups – groups usually at low risk for stroke. Why? Experts believe it’s because of an increase in risk factors that lead to stroke.

In a recent study published in the February 2009 issue of the medical journal Stroke researchers reported that 215 women, all having at least one risk factor for stroke, were unable to identify their risks. Furthermore they did not consider themselves to be at risk and were doing nothing to reduce their risk. The researchers concluded “Educational strategies must advocate for and target high-risk women.”

Read this post to learn the risks and warning signs of stroke these women missed.

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Your Lifestyle Choices: Are You Preventing Disease – or Inviting It?

Maverick Health and my book, A Nurse Practitioner’s Guide to Smart Health Choices, are all about using your lifestyle behaviors to prevent or control chronic diseases. I’ve been at this for over a decade now and every day I read studies and hear news-bites that only validate what I write about on this blog and talk about in my book.

But until you know what I know and, more importantly, act on what you know all this information is useless. Read this post about a study in Europe that looked at how well people controlled their risk factors after they’d already had a heart attack or serious cardiac event. Hint: reviewers that read the study found its results “ominous”.

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Do You Want to Prevent a Stroke? Behave This Way

Working on my book over 10 years ago, I already knew from experience that behaviors - not mysterious diseases - are the cause most of today’s illnesses. After years as a critical care nurse, I saw how medical treatments arrive too late in the game – way too late – to spare people the pain and suffering that comes from having a chronic disease or suffering a catastrophic health event like a stroke. Nobody was talking much back then about health risks or the behaviors that create them, but they are now.

Study after study keeps proving that certain lifestyle behaviors promote health and prevent disease. Two recent studies – one published in the British Journal of Medicine  and one in the journal Circulation- both showed how specific lifestyle behaviors dramatically reduce stroke risk.

Read this post to see what those behaviors are.

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Smoking Your Brains Out?

As a former smoker myself (I quit more than 25 years ago), I fully appreciate the pleasures of smoking. However, after what I’ve seen in the 20+ years I’ve been a clinician, no matter how pleasurable it might seem there is simply no upside to smoking - or any other form of tobacco use for that matter.

Smoking is literally a poison delivery system. I’m not nagging (yes, I am) but I want to update you on some research I read that reported on effects of smoking you may find surprising. I found this study a little scary.

Read on to see what they found out about smoking and your brain.

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Smoking: No More Butts about It – It is Time to Quit!

If you don’t smoke or use tobacco you are excused from this post and I will see you next week. Now, those of you who do smoke or use tobbacco - listen up. I know how hard it is to quit. I was a smoker myself - and not some wussy, Pollyanna type smoker - I was a hard core, two pack a day smoker. From the time my best friend Connie and I got caught smoking in the third grade until I quit at age 23 I was HOOKED! If you smoke, I know you would like to quit. And you can. I want to help, so please read on.

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