When Smokers Quit, Their Sinusitis Eventually Goes Away. In About 10 Years.

❝ Smokers with chronic rhinosinusitis who kick the habit should see their condition gradually improve to the level of a nonsmoker, although it may take 10 years, study findings suggest.

❝ Cigarette smoking is a known cause of chronic sinusitis and smoking also makes symptoms worse, so it stands to reason that quitting smoking would be beneficial to people with the condition.

But the newly published, cross-sectional study is actually the first investigation to quantify the severity of symptoms and quality-of-life impact of smoking on chronic rhinosinusitis…said senior author Ahmad Sedaghat, MD, PhD…

❝ In their effort to quantify the impact of smoking and smoking cessation on CRS symptoms, Sedaghat and colleagues utilized the aptly named SNOT questionnaire — a 22-item indicator of sinusitis symptom severity.

Har.

❝ They recruited 103 former smokers with CRS and an equal number of CRS patients with no history of smoking for the study. For the ex-smokers, time since quitting ranged from a few months to more than 50 years…

Outcome measures were compared between cohorts and checked for association with time since smoking cessation for former smokers.

❝ Compared with nonsmokers, former smokers had worse SNOT-22 scores and EQ-5D VAS scores and they also reported using more CRS-related antibiotics and oral corticosteroids in the past year.

Among former smokers, each year since quitting was associated with a statistically significant improvement in SNOT-22 score…

So, if you’re getting all bummed out because your dumb smoking habit is killing you – QUIT. You will feel better over time. Strictly subjective, I can verify that. I quit smoking 59 years ago. Progressive changes in lung function were really apparent the first couple of years – and extended through at least a decade.

Um, eating potatoes won’t actually kill you

❝ There are plenty of reasons not to eat potatoes, and only one reason to eat them: they’re freaking delicious. That’s the only reason you need. No one is eating fries because they think they’re healthy. But the next time you eat some delicious, oil-crisped taters and someone blurts out “hey, you know fries double your risk of mortality, right?” because they read a clicky headline, you can rest easy knowing that they are wrong. And superiority is the ultimate reward, right?

❝ You could pretty much sum up the whole problem with the recent study on taters in one sentence: correlation doesn’t imply causation. Let’s all say it together. Correlation doesn’t imply causation…At the end of the day, people who eat fries three-plus times a week are almost certainly going to have other habits that make them more likely to die.

❝ For starters, it’s likely that people who choose to eat that many taters are exercising less than the people who care enough about healthy dining to avoid that starchy temptation. And they probably consume more sugar generally as well. Or maybe they take in less fiber. You can’t eliminate the confounding effect of these other habits — that’s the real problem with nutritional studies like this. It appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently and it’s showing up all over the web.

❝ Nearly every article based on the study claims that fries doubled the mortality risk of the subjects, and media outlets aren’t technically wrong about the results. But first things first: it wasn’t potato intake generally, it was only fried potato consumption that the authors linked to higher death rates. Non-fried potato consumption didn’t lead to any increased mortality risk. Here’s a nice quote from the actual study that summarizes their findings: “After adjustment for 14 potential baseline confounders, and taking those with the lowest consumption of potatoes as the reference group, participants with the highest consumption of potatoes did not show an increased risk of overall mortality.”…

❝ Listen: fried potatoes aren’t good for you…Fries are full of starch and fat, and you should probably limit your consumption of both of those things — especially the starch. Starch is a simple sugar, and those cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise and prompt your body to store fat…But in moderation — and in combination with a healthy diet and exercise — you’ll be just fine. Enjoy your fries.

Couldn’t agree more. I love good fries, Belgian preferred; though I’ve had great Brit food truck fare. Rare enough to find myself in one of the few local bistros where they reign that I probably have them like once every five years. But, then, even-handed moderation in what I consume covers all the do’s and don’t’s of my nutrition.

More jobs from “Game of Thrones”

❝ A former Caterpillar plant on the south end of Santa Fe will become a fabrication, welding, wood shop, art, design and manufacturing facility that will feed Meow Wolf’s creative exhibits as the arts production business expands nationally.

❝ “It’s an ideal space, we can grow into it,” said Vince Kadlubek, co-founder of the arts collective, which has drawn more than a half-million visitors to the interactive House of Eternal Return exhibit it opened last March in a former bowling alley on Rufina Circle. The privately held company created the multimedia complex in collaboration with fantasy-fiction writer George R.R. Martin, who owns that space and leases it back to Meow Wolf.

❝ The 52,000-square-foot building at 2600 Camino Entrada, where until last year Caterpillar workers assembled engine components, was purchased by Meow Wolf with help from its lenders and investment partners. The business saw a profit of about $1 million in its first year of operating House of Eternal Return.

Kadlubek has said that success proved that an immersive space which layers music, visual art, electronics, and theater can draw multi-generational visitors. The new building is a major step toward launching the Meow Wolf brand outside New Mexico.

Keep on rocking in the Free World – of imagination, creativity.

Happy Nations Don’t Focus on Growth


Roman Gorielov/Istockphoto

❝ The Socialist candidate for the French presidency, Benoit Hamon, says he doesn’t believe in the “myth” and “quasi-religion” of growth — it’s part of the “consumerist, productivist and materialist model” of development, he argues. That’s outside the economic mainstream, and many see those views as a symptom of the meltdown of the global left. But the recently-released Global Happiness Report 2017, produced under the auspices of the United Nations, shows that Hamon just may be ahead of the curve.

❝ Since the project’s inception five years ago, small, rich Western European nations have led the list. In this year’s ranking, compiled using the last three years of data, they make up the top six, with Norway, Denmark and Iceland leading the world. In terms of growth, these nations have long lagged behind the global level…

Meanwhile, China, which has one of the highest sustained growth rates in the world, is not progressing in terms of happiness. The happiness report contains an entire chapter on that, written by Richard Easterlin, Fei Wang and Shun Wang. They pointed out that based on previous studies, China should have seen an increase in well-being of one full point on the ten-point Cantril Scale. Instead, Chinese people are just about as happy as they were in 1990.

❝ The team of respected economists Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Layard and John Helliwell suggests six variables explain the subjective well-being levels: wealth expressed as per capita GDP, the level of social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity (the prevalence of giving to charitable causes), and perceptions of corruption…

❝ …The experience of the small European nations at the top of the table shows that once a certain level of wealth is achieved, growth isn’t as important to happiness levels. As long as per capita GDP is relatively stable, the other factors do their job, and if there’s a problem with them — for example, health care becomes less accessible or deteriorates, the social fabric starts fraying, people grow more selfish or freedom erodes — people tend to feel unhappy despite an unchanged comfort level.

The happiness-related findings are politically important. In 2015, George Ward of the London School of Economics analyzed European election data to show that subjective well-being was a stronger predictor of the vote for the incumbent government than GDP growth or the unemployment level. It’s hard for technocratic elites to acknowledge that the relative electoral success of nativist parties could be dictated by a yearning for social cohesion that they believe is undermined by immigration and globalization; it’s even harder to come up with ways of fixing the problem.

❝ Far left politicians such as Hamon at least give it a try. The French presidential candidate wants to shift the focus from growth to the social support network, primarily health care and education. He also proposes a universal basic income and a shorter workweek, made possible by higher taxes on the rich. It could help or it could backfire…

❝ …Regardless of whether their specific recipes are workable, the left-wing radicals are right in trying to shift the rich world’s policy focus. There’s plenty of wealth, that goal is already achieved. Good policy is a matter of directing it toward the determinants of happiness.

I’ll second that emotion.

Doctors Without Borders Launch Massive measles vaccination campaign in Guinea

Doctors Without Borders says it is launching a massive measles vaccination campaign with Guinea’s government after at least 14 deaths and more than 3,400 cases were confirmed so far this year.

The aid group said Friday that thousands of people were left unprotected in 2014 and 2015 when the Ebola outbreak swept through the West African nation. Vaccination activities were reduced because of infection risks, and frightened families stayed away from health facilities…

MSF health policy analyst Dr. Mit Philips says Guinea now faces health issues without the funding and support promised during the Ebola outbreak to build better systems there. Ebola killed more than 11,300 people in the region and devastated health care systems.

Yup. Unforeseen consequences at work. Who might have foretold an epidemic outbreak grounded in fear of going to a clinic. Yet, Ebola in epidemic stage is so frightening the response was almost automatic.

Now, people have returned to strapped health clinics all too slowly and the measles vector expands into the unvaccinated population.

The ignoranus middle class anti-vaxxers of America should be required to spend a month or so in Guinea as volunteers. They can witness firsthand what life can be in a nation unprotected by basic vaccination. Which is how I grew up – not one year out-of-sequence; but, in an America that hadn’t yet instituted the whole range of vaccine protection now available to our children.

In case you wonder why I hold no forgiveness for folks fighting against vaccination.