Urine Reveals a Smoker's Risk of Lung Cancer
Recent research announced at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting found that high levels of 2 chemicals detectable in smokers' urine correlated with their likelihood of developing lung cancer, Bloomberg News reports. Subjects with high levels of both chemicals, which are byproducts of tobacco smoke, had 8.5 times the risk of developing lung cancer that those with low levels of the chemicals had. The urine test is not yet available to the general public, and the researchers say a commercial version of the test will take at least three to five years to develop.
Quitting smoking is one of the single best ways to improve overall health. Need a boost to help you ditch those cigarettes? Read these 12 reasons to really quit smoking. Tried to quit before but still smoking? Learn how to stop smoking by following the secrets of successful quitters.
Milk: Curative Salve for All that Ails a Woman?
Inspired by a series of commercials that suggest downing milk can alleviate PMS symptoms, brighten dull hair, and improve a woman's overall happiness, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson explores the science behind the benefits of milk—and separates fact from fairy-tale fiction. For example, calcium and vitamin D seem to alleviate symptoms of PMS, at least in some women. But it's not as simple as some advertisements might have you believe. If women choose to include milk in their diet, Hobson suggests going for the low-fat or skim varieties, since one study showed whole milk was actually associated with a higher rate of PMS.
In related news about dairy food sources, read what science says about the safety of drinking raw milk, a dairy product cropping up in certain corners of the country. Assume all yogurts have vitamin D? They don't. Here are 17 yogurts that actually do contain vitamin D. Plus, consider the relative benefits of Greek versus regular yogurt.
Getting Laid Off From a Small Company Might Mean No COBRA Assistance
As part of February's economic stimulus package, a COBRA subsidy was passed that gives 65 percent of COBRA premiums, for nine months, to workers who are laid off between September 2008 and the end of this year. But here's the rub: The subsidy applies only to workers laid off from companies with 20 or more workers. Those at smaller firms have to rely on state "mini COBRA" laws to determine whether the subsidy is available. U.S. News's Michelle Andrews writes about another area where workers laid off from such companies with fewer than 20 workers can get pinched.
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