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Smoking can affect hormone levels.

Smoking Can Affect Hormone Levels

It is almost an established scientific fact that women who smoke have an earlier menopause than those who do not. Studies are continuing that are expected to provide more definite proof. Cigarette smoking has also been implicated in reduced levels of the hormone testosterone in men.

It is supposed, researchers say, that through liver damage caused by tobacco use, smoking leads to changes in the metabolism of estrogen, reducing its prevalence in the body and thereby affecting the menstrual and menopause cycles.

Investigations involving pipe smokers did not show such clear results. The comparison between pipe smokers and cigarette smokers with regard to lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease was clear: pipe smokers have fewer such complications than do smokers.

The reduced mortality could be attributed to different puffing and inhaling patterns, it has been assumed. Because the alkaline levels of pipe smoke are more irritating to the lungs and the respiratory tract, less smoke is inhaled.

Behavior modification advocates who try to help people break the smoking habit might use pipe smoking as a temporary alternative to the goal of absolute withdrawal. Physicians who monitor these cases should be concerned with high levels of plasma nicotine in the system. If they are found, the smoker should be advised to quit without delay.
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Title Annotation:women who smoke have an earlier menopause
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 1990
Words:218
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