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Health briefs: Smoking rates, obesity

The rate of smoking among U.S. adults has resumed its four-decade decline, and those who continue to light up appear to smoke less than previous generations, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. "For 40 years there was a consistent decline in the number of adults who smoked -- from 1964 to around 2005," CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said. The downward trend stalled after 2005 and has since resumed, but at a pace "much slower than the rate of previous declines," he said. The number of smokers age 18 and older inched down from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 20.6 percent in 2009 and 19.3 percent in 2010, according to the report. That's about 3 million fewer smokers than if there had been no decline, the researchers noted.


Black women at risk

Carrying extra weight, especially around the middle, is a risk factor for death among black women, according to a new study at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. And the heavier a woman is, the greater her risk of dying sooner than her normal-weight peers.

-- HealthDay

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