Saturday, March 12, 2011

Toenails Tell All

Image found here

Story found on Medscape, here.
Toenail tests tell whether you're at high risk of getting lung cancer from cigarette smoke, even if you're not a smoker.
The finding comes from the toenails of 210 men with lung cancer and a comparison group of 630 men without lung cancer enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Most of the 33,737 medical professionals in this long-term study donated toenail clippings in 1987.........
......"We knew tobacco was harmful, but we are now learning it is even more harmful than we had previously measured," Al-Delaimy says. "We are getting a better estimate of the true risk of tobacco's lung effects. And this could be applied to other disease outcomes such as coronary heart disease, too."
The findings don't surprise tobacco and health expert Michael Eriksen, ScD, director of the institute of public health at Georgia State University. Eriksen was not involved in the Al-Delaimy/Willett study.
"As this study shows, evidence of exposure to smoke can be found throughout the entire body -- even the tips of your toes -- and that this exposure to smoke increases the risk of lung cancer," ........Al-Delaimy and Willett report their findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology, published online ahead of print on March 2.

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