Bayer Aspirin helping reduce heart attack risks

While UK doctors prefer to administer Paracetamol as a pain relief drug, US and continental doctors have a preference for Aspirin.

Aspirin is an anticoagulant, which means it helps reduce blood clotting. It also has a similar pain relieving effect to Paracetamol which makes it a very useful resource. Brands like Bayer Aspirin are widely available at pharmacists.

When administered to patients suspecting a heart attack, Aspirin has been proven to reduce the risk by up to 23% , and when taken for 30 days following a heart attack can minimalise the possibility of further attacks.

Studies into the use of Aspirin as a remedy for heart attacks have concluded that as many as 10,000 lives could potentially be saved every year.

So how does it work?

Aspirin works by reducing the number of platelets produced in the blood stream. Too many platelets can lead to clotting of the blood. Platelets release a prostaglandin called thromboxane, and Aspirin has an irreversible prostaglandin blocking ability which inhibits the biosynthesis of thromboxane. This process greatly reduces the possibility of blood clotting.

It is always advised that professional medical help is sought before taking aspirin, especially if you’re already taking prescription drugs. Although Aspirin is available over the counter, always consult your doctor first.

Aspirin slows the production of hormone-like prostaglandins through biosynthesis, a bodily system which functions on a cellular level. Prostaglandins have many different functions and are part of the body’s chemical messenger system which feed the brain information about the body’s physical condition.

Prostaglandins indicate aberrations like pain, fevers, inflammation of muscles or around cuts, swelling, and even in contracting certain muscles like the uterus. Because Aspirin lowers the amount of prostaglandins in the body, it can be a useful way to combat pains, fever and even to a certain extent, the discomfort of menstrual cramps.

Read more about career women at risk of heart attacks, the dangers calcium supplements pose,  how dark chocolate can help reduce risks of an attack, and how many deaths occur in the USA each year as a result of heart attacks.

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Career women at greater risk of heart disease

The last few decades have seen a huge increase in the number of women working in high positions within large companies, and, like their male counterparts they are now placing themselves at higher risk of suffering heart attacks, according to a new study.

The figures make for scary reading, stating that women with stressful roles are almost twice as likely to suffer a heart attack. Heart attacks are not the only risk though and those with high pressure careers are also likely to have strokes, high blood pressure or cardiac arrest.

The American researchers have discovered that women whose roles require them to work ‘very hard’ but have no opportunities to use their creative skills increase the risk of heart disease by around 40 per cent.

Those in jobs with strict deadlines and little time to relax are increasing the chance of a heart attack by a scary 88 per cent. It is well documented that men in those high flying positions are at risk of stress and related illnesses but the research carried out by the Harvard Medical School in Boston indicates that women are equally as vulnerable, perhaps even more so as they often have the added tribulations of raising a family.

The study was presented to the American Heart Association’s annual conference in Chicago.  Further information showed that high-flying women were 43 per cent more likely to have heart surgery; including a bypass operation (blood flow is diverted from a blocked artery by creating a new artery using veins from another part of the body).

Using data collected from than 17,400 women in their 50s and 60s the analysts were able to compile their research accurately. Their summaries concluded that highly stressful roles that left no room for creative outlets put the subjects at highest risk, while women who feared over job loss were likely to become overweight, have increased blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The lead researcher in the study, Dr Michelle Albert, said: ‘We’re never going to be able to get rid of stress – some stress is positive, actually. The negative aspects of stress we’re going to need to learn how to manage.’

Dr Albert also feels that doctors should put work pressures in the same category as smoking and raised blood pressure when it comes to heart disease risks.

‘We need to start taking that seriously,’ she added.

She recommends that anyone in high pressure careers take measures to reduce risks such as regular exercise, a healthy social or family network and leaving the job at work.

Dr Peter Kaufmann, a researcher at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Maryland, said, ‘This new data is among the most important to emerge in recent years concerning the relationship between job strain and cardiovascular health.’

Read our articles on coping with stress, stress related to heart risks, identifying stress in someone you know and how a good paternal relationship can help stress management.


Jean Claude Van Damme counters rumors of heart attack

Movie hard man Jean-Claude Van Damme has hit back at claims he suffered a heart attack on the set of his new film Weapon by issuing a statement on his Facebook page.  The Muscles from Brussels posted the denial this morning, reassuring followers that he is ‘100% healthy.’

We reported yesterday that the action movie legend had been hospitalized in New Orleans after suffering from a minor heart attack while filming but that he was set to return to filming.

But Jean-Claude Van Damme has denied suffering a minor heart attack on set by publishing this on his Facebook, ‘Hours ago, I read a rumor online about me suffering heart attack!!  Please, do not believe all what you read from rumors on any unofficial JCVD sites. Jean-Claude Van Damme is 100% healthy, training well for taking the fight and sending his fans & friends much love. — JCVD.’

The fight he refers to will take place later this year against Somrak Khamsing, a Thai Boxing champion.  Perhaps there is no truth in the reports of the heart attack or maybe JCVD is worried that his upcoming fight may be cancelled if it’s revealed he really has suffered some sort of heart trauma.

Shortly after arriving in the U.S. for three days of filming, shooting was put on hold due to complications, originally thought to be Van Damme’s heart attack.  His wife and mother of two of his children, Gladys Portugues, joined him in New Orleans, according to reports.

Slated to be released next year, Weapon sees Van Damme play an assassin who is forced to work with a rival to bring down an evil drug cartel.  Van Damme assures fans that he will still be making a return to the ring after a 27 year absence to fight Thai Boxer Somrak Khamsing later this year.

Read about Larry King and Robert Schimmel, who have both had a heart attack.


Jean-Claude Van Damme suffers heart attack

Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme is reported to have suffered a heart attack on set while filming his latest movie, ‘Weapon’, according to Initial reports state that the heart attack was only minor and comes just one day after the 1980s action star celebrated his 50th birthday.

Various news agencies contacted Van Damme’s people for an update and a spokesperson promptly replied, “He is okay.”

‘Weapon’ was being shot (no pun intended) in Romania until last week after which the production was scheduled to move to New Orleans for a further three days of filming. Shortly after arriving filming had to be shelved due to complications, and it now appears that Jean-Claude Van Damme’s heart attack was at the centre of it.

Belgian born Van Damme has appeared in countless action films since the 1980’s including Universal Soldier, Kickboxer, Hard Target and Timecop.  During the 90’s he starred alongside Kylie Minogue in the first Street Fighter which was poorly received by film viewers, and subsequent films continued to flop at the box office.

Better known as “the muscles from Brussels” he was offered the lead role in Sly Stallone’s Expendables but turned the offer down on the grounds that he “doesn’t want his career going down that route.”

He has recently reprised the role of Luc Devereaux in the 2010 release of Universal Soldier: Regeneration.

Read about other celebs with heart conditions such as Barbara Walters, Robin Williams,  and Miley Cyrus.

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Images:, JVCD

Hollywood screen idol Tony Curtis dies at 85

The handsome and enigmatic star, with a memorable career spanning over six decades and roles in over 140 Hollywood movies, died in his Nevada home of a heart attack on Wednesday night.

Oscar-nominated Tony Curtis will live on in people’s memories for his performance in films like Some Like it Hot. Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed the star numerous times, was quoted on as saying: “He was a very fine actor. Some Like it Hot is one of the greatest comedies of all time.

“The man who made it, Billy Wilder, did not suffer fools so for Tony Curtis to work with him and make that film shows just how good he was.

“He was an extraordinary man. Hollywood tried to make him into a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s but he was his own man.”

Married six times and with a string of high profile girlfriends, the actor was something of a womaniser, who also went through phases in his life where he struggled with cocaine and alcohol abuse. One of the greatest tragedies of his life was when his 23-year-old son died of a heroin overdose in 1994.

When his acting career thinned out and the big screen no longer played such a central role in his life, Tony Curtis took to painting still lifes. As quoted in, he said in 1990: “I’m a recovering alcoholic. Painting has given me such a great pleasure in life, helped me to recover.” He certainly had a magic touch: the previous year he sold over $1 million worth of his art on the first day of an exhibition.

Curtis was plagues by ill health in his later years, suffering from chronic pulmonary disease and pneumonia, which left him in a coma for a number of days, since which he has been confined to a wheelchair.

The actor’s family spokesman told the TV Network ABC News that he passed away peacefully in hes bed next to his wife.

Celebrities who have passed away recently include Eddie Fisher, Kenny Mckinley and Greg Giraldo


Annual flu shot can reduce risk of heart attack

Protection against winter flu, say scientists, makes it less likely that one will develop chest infections, which can trigger heart attacks. Research indicates that paying the doctor an annual visit for a flu vaccination can slash the risk of a heart attack by twenty-five percent.

The study was conducted on some 80,000 people aged 40 and over in England and Wales. As reported on the Daily Mail, Dr Niroshan Siriwardena, who led the University of Lincoln study, said: “We know that there is a link between flu, respiratory infections and heart attacks.

“Several previous studies have shown that people who have influenza and respiratory infections suffer heart attacks several weeks later.

“We believe that this could be because flu inflames the lining of the blood vessels which can then trigger a heart attack.

“This could be why when there is a peak in winter flu there is a peak in heart attacks.

“Our research shows that people who are recommended the flu vaccine – the elderly and other vulnerable groups – should really go and get it.

“Not only are they protecting themselves against flu, they are also potentially reducing the risk of heart attacks.”

The flu virus mutates quickly with different strains appearing every year which is why it is important to have the shot – the vaccine will have been modified accordingly – every year at the beginning of the season.

Read here about how stress may increase the risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease.


Stress may increase heart death risk

Those who have high levels of stress-induced hormone cortisol may be at an increased risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease, a recent study from the Netherlands has suggested.

Scientists at the University Medical Center conducted research on people aged 65 and upwards. At the beginning of the study, the 861 participants provided urine samples, which were used to measured for cortisol, a hormone produced by the body to help it recover from psychological stress. They were then monitored over the six following years.

The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, eventually revealed that those whose urine provided the highest readings of cortisol, were five times more likely to die from cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes.

No links were found between high levels of cortisol and other causes of death, The Telegraph points out, quoting Dr Nicole Vogelzangs, lead author of the study, as saying: “Previous studies have suggested that cortisol might increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality, but until now, no study had directly tested this hypothesis.

“The results of our study clearly show that cortisol levels in a general older population predict cardiovascular death, but not other causes of mortality.“

The BBC spoke to Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, who said: “Stress is already associated with an increased risk of heart disease and this study throws up more evidence about the role of cortisol.“

Images: Wikimedia Commons

Ten to eleven hours of work per day are bad for the heart

People working for more than ten hours a day are more likely to suffer from heart attacks or develop heart diseases, a study finds. According to the experts putting in extra time at work, increases the stress level which increases the risk of heart diseases by two-third. Working in long shifts puts extra stress on heart which can actually cause death.

In this research, published in the online edition of European Heart Journal, 6000 British civil servants were studied. Apart from the most common heart risk factor, smoking, the researchers have found that people who work three to four hours extra every day run60 per cent heart risk. These findings highlight the significance of work-life balance. According to, the researchers were quoted as saying, “A career-minded person will also tend to be a “Type A” personality who is highly driven, aggressive or irritable. Employees who work overtime may also be likely to work while ill – that is, be reluctant to be absent from work despite illness.” A senior cardiac nurse, British Heart foundation, Cathy Ross feels that though researchers have shown a link between long working hours and heart risks, however, this issue requires more research. reports that the researchers feel working all the time means that people have less time to unwind themselves. Dr. Marianna Virtanen, the lead author of the study from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health was quoted as saying, “If you work long hours, the fact is that you may be exposed to higher stress levels and you do not have enough time to take care of your health.”

Celebrities who have heart problems include Jennie GarthRobin WilliamsBill Clinton and Barbara Walters.


Increased CO2 content in blood responsible for near death experience

A recent study has revealed that increased levels of CO2 in the body might be responsible for the experience of near death. According to, more than a quarter of people who have suffered cardiac arrests in the past reportedly claim to have experienced mysterious things which generally include floating sensations, immense sense of peace and happiness, a feeling of going through the tunnel or staring down from ceiling.
Earlier it was believed to be the effect of some of the drugs or certain religious beliefs. However, the study conducted by the researchers at the University of Maribor, Slovenia explained that it was due to higher levels of Carbon Dioxide. As per, the team of Slovenian researchers examined about 52 heart attack patients. During the study, they checked levels of various chemicals inside the body of these patients.
The findings revealed that about 11 of these patients who had reported such out-of-body experiences recorded for an increased CO2 content in their arteries and breath. Previous studies have confirmed that inhaling CO2 can result in certain hallucinating experiences which are not very different from what was reported by these 11 patients. “Near-death experiences make us address our understanding of human consciousness so the more we know the better.” said Zalika Klemenc-Ketis, lead author.
Celebrities who have heart problems include Robin WilliamsMichael Lohan and Bill Clinton.

Reducing blood pressure is risky for diabetics and heart patients

A new study conducted by the University of Florida researchers has urged caution in lowering blood pressure in diabetics and patients with coronary artery disease.

An associate professor of pharmacy and medicine at University of Florida, Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff said that the new data showed an increased risk of heart stroke, heart attack or even death for patients with a very high or very low blood pressure.

While presenting the findings at the American College of Cardiology’s 59th Annual Scientific Session in Atlanta, she suggested raising the systolic bar above 120 for blood pressure in diabetics and patients with coronary disease claiming that levels between 130 and 140 appear to be ideal and healthier for them.

According to www., Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff said, “Our data suggest that in patients with both diabetes and coronary artery disease, there is a blood pressure threshold below which cardiovascular risk increases.” However, as reported by, the International Verapamil SR-Trandolapril study (INVEST) has suggested that the normal range for healthy Americans may prove to be risky for those with a combined diagnosis of coronary artery disease and diabetes.

The American Heart Association defines Normal Blood Pressure as less than 120 systolic and more than 80 diastolic.

Celebrities who suffer from type 1 diabetes include Bret Michaels and The Jonas Brothers member Nick Jonas.

Celebrities who have had heart problems include Robin Williams, Jennie GarthElizabeth Taylor,Larry King and Bill Clinton.