Women have caught up to men on lung cancer risk

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Associated Press

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 3:02 PM

New research finds that women who smoke today have a much greater risk of dying from lung cancer than they did decades ago compared to those who never smoked. That is partly because they are starting younger and smoking more than women used to.

Women have caught up with men when it comes to the risk of dying from smoking-related illnesses. Lung cancer risk leveled off in the 1980s for men but is still rising for women.

The research is in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. It includes the first generation of U.S. women who started smoking early in life and continued for decades, long enough for see the health effects.

Smoking cuts more than 10 years off the average life span, but quitting at any age buys time.

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