Fizzy meds linked to a higher risk of stroke

Fizzy meds linked to a higher risk of stroke

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The research, published in European Heart Journal, conducted analysis of 300,000 patients registered in the UK. From this study cohort they analysed the impact of soluble pain relief tablets on their cardiovascular system.

They found that the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure after one year of patients taking these medications was over seven and a half percent.

Professor Chao Zeng, the study lead on the study led by Xiangya Hospital said: “We also found that the risk of cardiovascular disease and death increased as the duration of sodium-containing paracetamol intake increased.

“The risk of cardiovascular disease increased by a quarter for patients with high blood pressure who had one prescription of sodium-containing paracetamol, and it increased by nearly a half for patients who had five or more prescriptions of sodium-containing paracetamol.”

Professor Zeng added: “We saw similar increases in people without high blood pressure. The risk of death also increased with increasing doses of sodium-containing paracetamol in both patients with and without high blood pressure.”

As a result of these findings, Professor Zeng said clinicians and doctors should be made aware of the risks faced in the prescription of these dissolvable medications.

Professor Zeng said: “Given that the pain relief effect of non-sodium-containing paracetamol is similar to that of sodium-containing paracetamol, clinicians may prescribe non-sodium-containing paracetamol to their patients to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

“People should pay attention not only to salt intake in their food but also not overlook hidden salt intake from the medication in their cabinet.”

Why do dissolvable tablets increase the risk of stroke?

Sodium, one of the dominant components of salt, is used by the makers of these medications to help the medication dissolve in water. However, these medications use high doses of salt, up to half a gram.

As a result, researchers say that if a patient took the maximum dose of two of these tablets every six hours, they would consume between just over three and three and a half grams of salt a day. For comparison, the WHO’s recommended daily salt intake is just two grams.

Salt is one of the major risk factors for heart disease because too much salt can lead to an increase in blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, strokes, or heart failure.

It is for this reason that Professor Zeng and others are concerned. This includes Professor Aletta Schutte and Bruce Neal who wrote in an editorial: “Given that the pain relief effect of non-sodium-containing paracetamol is similar to that of sodium-containing paracetamol, clinicians may prescribe non-sodium-containing paracetamol to their patients to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

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They added: “People should pay attention not only to salt intake in their food but also not overlook hidden salt intake from the medication in their cabinet.”

Although salt can increase someone’s risk of stroke and long term disability or death, there are also studies to suggest there are unusual ways for someone to reduce their risk, including getting vaccinated.

While there is currently no vaccine for stroke, a new study has suggested getting the flu vaccine could reduce your risk of a stroke occurring. Published in the journal Neurology, the study found having the flu vaccine could reduce the chances of the deadly event occurring.

Professor Francisco de Abajo said: “Studies have shown that getting the flu increases your risk of having a stroke, but research is still being collected on whether getting the flu vaccine can help protect against a stroke. This observational study suggests that those who have a flu shot have a lower risk of stroke.”

The conclusion of the study was reached after analysis of a Spanish healthcare database, following the study, it the flu shot was associated with a 12 percent reduced risk of a stroke.

De Abajo said of the results: “These results are yet another reason for people to get their yearly flu shot, especially if they are at an increased risk of stroke. To be able to reduce your risk of stroke by taking such a simple action is very compelling.”

While the results are eye opening, it is important to note that it was an observational study and therefore not one from which a definitive conclusion can be drawn; this can only be done in a causational study.

De Abajo added: “To determine whether this is due to a protective effect of the vaccine itself or to other factors, more research is needed.”

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