Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2015 Contents A28
body & soul
Guardian www.Guardian.co.tt Monday, January 19, 2015
If you re popping aspirin on a daily basis to lower
your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, it
might turn out that an aspirin a day may not keep
the doctor away.
In fact, it could make things worse for your health.
Doctors will often tell patients to take a daily aspirin
since doing so can prevent the formation of blood
clots, which cause heart attacks and strokes.
A new study published in the Journal of the Amer-
ican College of Cardiology found that one in ten
people were either prescribed an aspirin regimen or
daily they were taking one preventively when it wasn t
To figure that out, researchers looked through the
health records of almost 69,000 people receiving
care at 119 cardiology practices throughout the United
The scientists determined the people who didn t
need to take the aspirin had too low of a risk to need
it to prevent a heart attack or a stroke.
"Some 7,972 had a less than six per cent chance
of having a heart attack or stroke within the next 10
years," said Dr Salim Virani, an author of the study
and a cardiologist and assisting professor of medicine
at Baylor College.
You might think that it s not that big of a deal,
but taking aspirin when you don t need to can lead
to some serious health problems.
"Someone taking aspirin with a low risk for heart
attack or stroke can cause more harm than good,"
"It can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers and
the most dreaded place where (there is bleeding)
inside the brain," he added. "The brain area can t
accommodate a lot of blood and you can die."
An unneeded aspirin regimen can also make your
blood too thin, causing problems if you need surgery.
If you ve had a stroke or heart attack in the past,
or fall into that bracket where an aspirin regimen is
needed, you do still need to be careful. You need to
make sure you re taking the right dose.
The recommended dose for someone who needs
to be on an aspirin regimen is 81 milligrams. That s
the equivalent of the dose of a baby aspirin in the
An aspirin a day may not be
necessary for heart health
United States. Taking anything
more than that increases your risk
for side effects.
"People weigh the concern of
the risks of heart disease over the
risk of the side effects. We under-
estimate the side effects," said Dr
Sharon Bergquist, assistant pro-
fessor of medicine at the Emory
School of Medicine.
"Those who have that less than
six per cent risk should be max-
imising lifestyle reduction efforts
rather than a medication such as
Lifestyle reduction efforts
include getting enough exercise,
eating properly, getting enough
sleep and reducing levels of stress.
The take-away from this study?
Consult your doctor before begin-
ning any sort of medicinal regi-
men, and if you don t need to be
on an aspirin regimen, stop pop-
ping those pills and start stepping
out for exercise. (cnn.com)
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Stress is the reason why we find it hard to
empathise with someone we do not know,
researchers suggest. In separate tests in mice and
people, empathy towards strangers increased when
stress hormones were blocked by a drug. Playing
a fun video game with a stranger was found to have
a similar effect to the drug.
The Canadian and American research team pub-
lished their findings in Current Biology.
Previous studies have shown that the ability to
feel or share someone else s pain is not something
unique to humans. Mice can feel empathy too. But
in both species, empathy is stronger between those
that recognise each other and all but absent between
those unfamiliar with each other.
Stress levels have also been shown to rise in both
mice and people in the presence of strangers.
In this study, researchers treated mice with a stress-
blocking drug and watched their response when con-
fronted with other mice in pain. They found that the
mice became more empathetic and more compas-
sionate to strangers, reacting in a way they would
normally react to familiar mice. (BBC)
Stress is 'barrier
to feeling empathy
An unneeded aspirin regimen can make your blood too thin,
causing problems if you need surgery.
Links Archive January 18th 2015 January 20th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page