Revisiting Who Should Take Aspirin

The Skeptical Cardiologist weighs in on the aspirin debate.
Thank you Dr. Pearson.

The Skeptical Cardiologist

Four years ago the skeptical cardiologist wrote the (in his extremely humble  and biased opinion) the definitive post on aspirin and cardiovascular disease.  Entitled “Should I take aspirin to prevent stroke or heart attack“,  it pointed out that although Dr. Oz had recently told almost all middle-aged women to take a baby aspirin and fish oil, there was, in fact no evidence to support that practice.

The publication of the ASPREE (Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) trial results in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine further strengthens the points I made in 2014.

Between 2010 and 2014 the ASPREE investigators enrolled over 19,000 community-dwelling persons in Australia and the United States who were 70 years of age or older (or ≥65 years of age among blacks and Hispanics in the United States) and did not have cardiovascular disease, dementia, or disability.

(It’s important…

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Daily low-dose aspirin found to have no effect on healthy life span in older people

In the total study population, treatment with 100 mg of low-dose aspirin per day did not affect survival free of dementia or disability. Among the people randomly assigned to take aspirin, 90.3 percent remained alive at the end of the treatment without persistent physical disability or dementia, compared with 90.5 percent of those taking a placebo. Rates of physical disability were similar, and rates of dementia were almost identical in both groups.

For the full NIH news release click here.

The Myth of Super Foods

The successful selling of superfoods to the wealthy is creating an impression that premium foods and superfoods equal good health and that they are a necessary part of any effort to improve the healthiness of a diet.

Everything in the produce aisle is a superfood, the rest is just window dressing. We need to start there and insure everyone has access to these, the basics of a healthful diet.

A most interesting perspective on super faddish super foods.  The full article is worth reading and can be found here.

Yikes.

What the News Left Out About K2

As a psychiatrist, I have encountered countless individuals in the emergency room who come through and do not want help. “What K2? I don’t use that stuff.” They will deny it, laugh it off, or scoff at me. They threaten to commit suicide if I don’t let them stay the night, and demand extra sandwiches and clothes. These individuals have the ability to decipher their options.  If the person’s thinking suddenly clears and there is no sign of physical instability, he or she can just walk out the emergency room almost minutes after presenting. In the dead of night, I’ve had unconscious patients who wake up abruptly only to demand to leave. I have no choice but to discharge them “home” to no particular address, since none are listed.

Here’s the link to the full article.

 

Only two percent of teens read newspaper, one-third have not read book for pleasure in last year

“Think about how difficult it must be to read even five pages of an 800-page college textbook when you’ve been used to spending most of your time switching between one digital activity and another in a matter of seconds,” she added. “It really highlights the challenges students and faculty both face in the current era.”

My source article

My random thoughts:

  • ADHD
  • Bad parenting
  • Technology addiction
  • Social media is not social
  • Social media is evil
  • The slow agonizing death of newspapers
  • Colleges and universities will be challenged
  • Put the cellphone down and keep your hands where I can see them.

There is a link to the full study in the source article.

Need a Grandchild? There’s an App for That

More than 40% of the elderly experience loneliness on a regular basis, according to a 2017 study. That loneliness puts them at a higher risk of cognitive decline, depression, stroke, and multiple other problems; even the symptoms of the common cold are more severe when someone is lonely. Seniors who report feeling lonely also have a 45% increased risk of mortality.

This is one of the coolest start ups I’ve read about.  Check it out here.