POSTED: Monday, March 7, 2011 - 9:45am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 11:16am
A surprising new study finds that your risk of lung cancer may be detected by your toenails.
The results show that men with high levels of nicotine in their toenails were about 3.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those with lower levels of nicotine, regardless of their smoking histories.
Researchers said the findings suggest the effects of smoking may be underestimated in studies that only use self-reported smoking history to assess the risk of lung cancer; that may be because either people aren't completely truthful when they answer, or because some may smoke less than others, but inhale more deeply.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego used toenails in their study because they grow slowly, and therefore, nicotine levels in clippings are relatively stable.
The study was published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.