(HealthDay News) — Smoking is associated with 1 in 5 deaths in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The agency suggests these methods that may help you quit: Commit to quitting and get motivated to make a change. Get support from friends and family. Consider using medicine to help you quit, and if you do, use it correctly. Take up a new hobby as a distraction. Be prepared for the effects of withdrawal and the possibility of relapse.

MONDAY, March 19, 2018U.S. war veterans who sustained severe combat wounds and have chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for high blood pressure, a new study says. The study included nearly 3,900 military veterans who had been severely wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan from February 2002 to February 2011. Their average age when they were wounded was 26. More than 14 percent of the veterans developed high blood pressure at least 90 days after being wounded. The severity of the injuries and how frequently PTSD was noted in their medical records after the wounding separately affected their risk for high blood pressure. “What we found surprised us,” said study senior author Dr. Ian Stewart, a major at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California. For every 5-point increase on a 75-point injury severity score, the risk for high blood pressure rose 5 percent. Veterans with an injury severity score of 25 or lower and no recorded PTSD diagnosis had the lowest risk for high blood pressure, according to the study. Compared with veterans with no PTSD diagnosis, the risk for high blood pressure was 85 percent higher among those who had PTSD noted one to 15 times in their medical records — indicating chronic PTSD. High blood pressure was 114 percent more likely among veterans with…  read on >

TUESDAY, March 20, 2018Tiny pellets could treat arthritic knee pain, delaying the need for knee replacement surgery, a small study has found. Microparticles inserted into small blood vessels around the knee helped reduce the pain and improve function in eight arthritis sufferers, according to clinical trial results. The results were presented Monday at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual meeting, in Los Angeles. “Patients overall were able to improve their physical function in the knee after the procedure, and there were no adverse events related to this treatment,” said lead researcher Dr. Sandeep Bagla. Bagla is director of interventional radiology at the Vascular Institute of Virginia in Woodbridge. Boston Scientific, maker of the microparticles, funded the study. Much of the pain that comes from knee arthritis actually stems from inflammation in the lining of the knee joint, also called the synovium, Bagla said. In fact, small blood vessels created by degenerative arthritis feed this inflammation by increasing blood flow to the lining. To treat this, Bagla and his colleagues decided to try blocking those tiny blood vessels using microparticles — spheres about a tenth of a millimeter in size made from a synthetic gel-like material. The microparticles are inserted using a catheter run through a pinhole-sized incision, in a procedure that lasts between 45 and 90 minutes, Bagla said. “It’s an outpatient procedure, and no…  read on >

WEDNESDAY, March 14, 2018If you’re planning a career change or wondering if a challenging job could have positive effects, research might provide some intriguing answers. In a 2014 study, scientists in Scotland used levels of job complexity based on the Dictionary of Occupational Titles for an analysis of more than 1,000 participants with an average age of 70. They found that two types of complex jobs lead to longer-lasting memory and thinking ability, years after retirement. One is working at a high level with data. The other is working at a high level with other people, on tasks like teaching, negotiating and mentoring. According to the lead author of the study, the theory is that more stimulating work environments may help people retain these mental skills. While the effect of occupation accounts for just a 1 to 2 percent variance between people with high- and low-complexity jobs, that differential is similar to some lifestyle factors that affect better thinking skills in later life, such as not smoking. The most complex jobs involving data include: Architect. Civil engineer. Graphic designer. Musician. The least complex jobs involving data include: Construction worker. Telephone operator. Food server. The most complex jobs involving other people include: Surgeon. Lawyer. Social worker. Probation officer. The least complex jobs involving other people include: Factory worker. Painter. Carpet layer. Bookbinder. Do complex jobs buffer…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Eating one serving of green leafy vegetables per day is associated with slower age-related cognitive decline, recent research suggests. Reported in the journal Neurology — the study involved 960 adults with an average age of 81 and no sign of dementia. The difference between those who ate the greens and those who did not was equivalent to being 11 years younger cognitively. The vegetables eaten included kale, spinach and collards, which are rich sources of cognition-supporting folate, phylloquinone, nitrate, α-tocopherol, kaempferol and lutein, said the researchers at Chicago’s Rush University and Boston’s Tufts Human Nutrition Research Center.

FRIDAY, March 16, 2018Think you could taste the difference between recycled toilet water, bottled water or tap water? It’s unlikely, results of a blind taste test suggest. Years of drought in California have given momentum to household use of recycled wastewater. Six water agencies in the state already use wastewater that’s produced through a technology called indirect potable reuse (IDR), the University of California, Riverside, researchers noted. The IDR approach redirects treated wastewater into groundwater supplies, where it re-enters the drinking water system. Although research has shown that recycled wastewater is safe, people are often repulsed about things such as taste. “It seems that this term [wastewater], and the idea of recycled water in general, evokes disgust reactions,” said study author Daniel Harmon, a graduate student in psychology. “It is important to make recycled water less scary to people who are concerned about it, as it is an important source of water now and in the future,” Harmon said in a university news release He and his colleagues asked 143 people to compare the taste of IDR tap water, conventional groundwater tap water and bottled water. “The groundwater-based water was not as well liked as IDR or bottled water,” said study co-author Mary Gauvain, a professor of psychology. “We think that happened because IDR and bottled water go through remarkably similar treatment processes, so they…  read on >