HealthWise at 5 From 7.24 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/24/02

HealthWise at 5 From 7.24

  • African Americans and Smoking

In a first ever effort to target only African American smokers, researchers at the Universtiy of Kansas tested new medication for would be quitters. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 600 participated in a random, blind trial that included either the medication or a placebo for seven weeks along with weekly counseling sessions. The drug, Buproprion, has been used for many years as an anti-depressant, and only recently has been discovered to be effective in smoking cessation. 21% of those taking buproprion compared to only 14% on placebo were smoke free after six months.

"Buproprion is a novel medication that works in the brain. No one is entirely sure how the medication works. We do know that it works through certain chemicals known as Neurotransmitters to help behavior change. It works in smoking at helping people quit," says Dr. Jasjit S. Ahluwalia of the University of Kansas.

Having used it already for depression, researchers say buproprion has proven to be safe with minimal side effects. The cost of helping a smoker quit is about $300 for medication, while treatments of a lung cancer patient can cost upwards of $90,000.

For more information ( click here).

  • Living Long

If one of your siblings lived to be 100, chances are, you will too. Researchers looked at more than 2,000 siblings with brothers or sisters who reached the 100 year milestone. The study compared them with information on survival rates of americans born in 1900. Researchers found that brothers of centenarians were 17 times as likely to make it to 100 as well. And the National Academy of Sciences says. The same goes for sisters in a similar study group.

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