Your Health: Smoking top risk for heart disease

Harvard Medical School’s Healthbeat reports:

• Smoking is the top risk factor for heart disease. But for women on birth control pills, it increases the risk of stroke and heart attack even more.

• Less than one out of three Americans gets enough exercise, but women are even less active than men, especially in the 18 to 30 and over-65 age ranges.

• Women should especially beware of having high triglycerides and a waist over 35 inches, which greatly increase the risk of diabetes or a fatal heart attack.

Study: Cigar, Pipe Smoking Pose Increased Risk

At a time when cigarette smoking is on the decline, consumption of other tobacco products is actually on the rise.

Cigar smoking rose 46 percent between 1993 and 1997, and pipes are increasingly popular among high school students.

Health officials have said a major problem is that consumers believe cigars and pipes are less harmful than cigarettes but the truth is tobacco smoke carries the same toxins no matter what form it comes in.