Cologne

Survival rates, treatment of congenital heart defects improving

Heart DefectsCologne - Jasmine Kraemer was 20 when she found out she had a congenital heart defect.

While taking a test as a university student, she suddenly became ill. The diagnosis of a congenital heart defect came after a thorough health check at a hospital. Specifically, the left and right chambers of the social pedagogy student's heart are inverted.

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Hookahs just as harmful as cigarettes

SmokingCologne - Water pipes or hookahs are just as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes, according to Germany's Federal Centre for Health Education.

Smoke produced by a hookah contains several poisonous substances.

Hookah tobacco is often mixed with sugar or syrup, which when burned, releases substances that are carcinogenic or aggravate the air passages.

The centre has released the information to coincide with its "Smoke Free 2008" campaign.

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