News For Your Heart and Your Brain

Aspirin!

Aspirin! (Photo credit: (adam) THEO)

There have been two pieces of medical news this week that seem to be unrelated but do in fact have one thing in common – your heart. First up, we knew that aspirin was good for your heart but we didn’t know just how good. A new study shows that aspirin is as good as well-known and commonly used blood thinners like warfarin, or Coumadin, in most patients with heart failure when it comes to preventing death, stroke or brain hemorrhage. We already knew that taking small amounts of aspirin every day helped with the risk of heart disease. This new study suggests that Aspirin is more than that, particularly because drugs like Warfarin increase risks from other areas like hemorrhaging and blood loss in the case of trauma.

Study number two looked at the link between obesity and heart disease and proved that there is one. Up to this point there hadn’t been a study to demonstrate the link between the two, even if for many people the link seems inherently obvious. The study, performed with 75,000 people in Denmark found that those with a high BMI had a 26 percent increased risk of developing heart disease. Further analysis using genetic and other data showed that a BMI increase of 4 points increases the risk of heart disease by no less than 52 percent.

Need more incentive to be very careful about what you eat? A further study by Yonas Geda at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, seems to show that eating too much can lead to cognitive impairment later in life. “Caloric consumption of more than 2,143 calories per day is associated with twice [the] increased risk of having mild cognitive impairment,” Geda said in a statement. “It’s important to see your doctor regularly to check for signs of serious memory loss.”

This last study is unusual and undoubtedly needs a follow up to understand more precisely what is too much and what is too little to make a difference. But the others support already commonly held beliefs or knowledge.

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