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Aspirin Resistance Increases Severity of Strokes

A small Australian study found aspirin resistance correlated with an increase in severity and size of infarct in patients admitted to hospital with an acute stroke.  The study was lead by Bernard Yan, MD, of Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville, Australia, and colleagues.

The use of aspirin before a stroke has been associated with less severe symptoms at admission and improved functional outcomes at discharge. And short-term aspirin therapy has been shown to significantly reduce the risks of death and dependency at 6 months following an acute ischemic stroke.  Resistance to aspirin, however, may contribute to poor clinical outcomes in some patients.  The presence of aspirin resistance was associated with a worse stroke according to both the NIHSS and ASPECTS.

Bernard Yan said, “Aspirin also reduces platelet microaggregates and platelet-derived vasoconstricting products,” they added. “This may ease ischemic injury by improving local blood flow. Aspirin-resistant patients may not experience the same therapeutic effect and, as a result, sustain a larger stroke.”

Alternatively, other neuroprotective or anti-inflammatory processes could be involved in the observed relationship, Yan and colleagues noted.

Note that both the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) were used as assessments in this study.

Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Strokes/36024

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Night Shift Increases Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

According to a new study published this week in the British Medical Journal people who work irregular hours, often referred to as the graveyard shift or night shift, are at a higher risk for of heart attack and stroke.  2 million people were surveyed in this study which found that an that irregular shift workers are at 23% greater risk of heart attacks than the other workers, 5% greater risk of ischemic strokes and 24% greater risk of all coronary events combined (a category that includes heart attack but not stroke). Shift workers also had slightly higher overall death rates than average, but those results were not statistically significant.

More studies like this one continue to reveal how detrimental lack of sleep or irregular sleep schedule can be to our health.

Source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/27/its-called-the-graveyard-shift-for-a-reason/?iid=hl-main-mostpop1#ixzz22JzCq8jU

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Moderate Drinking Improves Bone Density for Women

A study published in the journal Menopause and led by Urszula Iwaniec of Oregon State University shows that moderate drinking improves bone density in post menopausal women under 65.   “Drinking moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise may be beneficial for bone health, especially in postmenopausal women,” said lead author Urszula Iwaniec in a statement.  It was found that chemicals in the alcohol increased the turnover rate of bone cells.

In addition, moderate drinking lowers the risk of having a stroke for women.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/11/alcohol-does-a-body-good-study-finds-it-boosts-bone-health/?iid=hl-main-feature#ixzz22JrEgxe9