Query: stroke

Filtered By:
Source: NHS News Feed

This page shows you your search results in order of date.

Order by Relevance | Date

Total 277 results found since Jan 2013.

Blood-thinning drugs may reduce dementia risk in people with irregular heartbeats
Conclusion If you’ve been diagnosed with AF and you have been prescribed anticoagulant treatments such as warfarin or clopidogrel, we already know they protect you against having a stroke. This study suggests they may also help to protect you against dementia. Cutting the risk of dementia for people who have a raised risk because of AF would be an exciting step forward. Unfortunately, we can’t tell from this study whether the protection against dementia was down to the anticoagulants, because of the possible effect of unmeasured confounding factors. Usually, we would want to see a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to f...
Source: NHS News Feed - October 25, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news

Any type of physical exercise is good for the heart
Conclusion This study shows that all physical activity, in any form, is good for us. This includes both recreational and non-recreational activities. Don't be misled by some of the media: non-recreational activities like housework are not "better" than recreational activities like playing sports or going to the gym. The fact that reduced risk was seen with non-recreational activity across all countries, but only seen with recreational activity in high-income countries was probably just because fewer people in lower-income countries play sports or go to the gym. The researchers estimate that 8% of all deaths and...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 22, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Statins cut heart deaths in men by 28% finds study
Conclusion This new analysis found that men without cardiovascular disease who were prescribed a statin were less likely to go on to develop heart disease or have a major cardiovascular event. These findings from the five-year randomised controlled trial are useful – there's been a lot of debate about whether giving statins to people without any cardiovascular disease is helpful. But it's harder to draw conclusions from the longer term results, as these were from a non-randomised observational period. Potential confounding factors – such as the men's attitude to medicine, risk and health – may have influenced the res...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 7, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

One in 10 men aged 50 'have the heart of a 60-year-old'
"One-tenth of 50-year-old men have a heart age 10 years older than they are," BBC News reports. This is the finding of an analysis of 1.2 million people who used the NHS Heart Age Test. The principle behind the test is that you can "age" your heart through unhealthy behaviour such as smoking and being obese. Underlying conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which often have no noticeable symptoms, can also age the heart. An obese smoker in their 50s who has high blood pressure and high cholesterol could have the heart of a 60- or 70-year-old. The quick and simple test tells you the...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Results of global fats and carbs study not very relevant for UK
Conclusion The results of the study have been presented in the media as if they overturn all current dietary guidelines. In the UK at least, that is completely misleading. The study results support the UK guidelines, having found that people who get around 50% of their calories from carbohydrates and 35% from fat, as recommended by Public Health England, were likely to live the longest. There are some limitations to the study, not least that observational studies cannot prove cause and effect. For example, the very low fat and high carbohydrate levels of diets found among some participants in the study might simply repres...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 30, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Source Type: news

Anti-inflammatory drug may help prevent heart attacks
Conclusion This well-conducted study shows promising signs that canakinumab may reduce the risk of future heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in people who've had them in the past. But before any changes are made to the current licensing of this drug, further research is needed to confirm the beneficial effects and the optimal dose. Most importantly, researchers will need to focus on the observation that the drug lowered white blood cell counts and increased the risk of fatal infection. They estimated around 1 in every 300 people taking canakinumab would die of a fatal infection. This number, while low, is sti...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 30, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

'Fat but fit' people may still be at risk of heart disease
Conclusion This large, valuable study confirms that – as has long been thought – an increased BMI is linked with an increased risk of heart disease. It shows that people with an obese BMI had a higher risk of heart disease, even if they didn't have other risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, proving that body fat is an independent risk factor. That said, this study does have some limitations. For example, definitions of being metabolically unhealthy aren't entirely consistent with other definitions of metabolic syndrome. This was also only assessed at the start of the study, and risk factors may...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Obesity Source Type: news

'Exercise pill' could potentially help people with heart failure
Conclusion The protein hCT1 caused heart muscles to grow in a more healthy way in rodents with heart failure. When treatment stopped, the heart went back to its original condition – something that does not happen when the heart grows in a dysfunctional way. There is currently no cure for heart failure and treatment is only available for keeping symptoms under control. Therefore, this very promising early-stage research with potential for developing a drug for people with heart failure, has huge implications. However, it is important to remember that as this is experimental laboratory research, there are many more stage...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Snoring link to Alzheimer ’s disease unproven
Conclusion This relatively large cross-sectional analysis has found a link between certain measures of breathing problems during sleep and poorer cognitive function in middle-aged to older adults. The strengths of this study include its size and use of a prospective sleep study to assess whether people had sleep apnoea or other problems with breathing during sleep. The use of standard cognitive tests is also a strength. However, the study does have its limitations: The study did have mixed findings – while certain measures of problems with breathing during sleep (e.g. oxygen levels) were associated with cognitive outco...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 24, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Benefits of artificial sweeteners unclear
Conclusion The study authors suggest artificial sweeteners may not aid weight loss, despite marketing claims to the contrary, and could actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the results need to be treated with caution, as this review had numerous limitations: The randomised controlled trials had great variability and few participants, increasing the possibility of the results occurring by chance. They were also judged to be at a high risk of bias – for example, the participants could not be blinded to the intervention, and adherence (drop-out) rates were not provided. We do not know whether there w...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 19, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Obesity Source Type: news

Some types of vegetarian diet can raise heart disease risk
Conclusion This large pooled cohort study seems to demonstrate an association between a healthy plant-based diet and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and an increased risk of heart disease with an unhealthy plant-based diet. This adds to the evidence base supporting the possible benefits of healthy plant-based diets in protecting against certain illnesses. However there are some limitations to the research: The cohort included only health professionals from the US so might not be representative of wider populations in the UK or elsewhere. The study can't provide information on the benefits or otherwise of this d...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 18, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Source Type: news

Long working week 'may increase risk of irregular heartbeat'
Conclusion This study draws together data from a large group of people to investigate whether working hours could be linked to AF. It found people who work 55 or more hours a week had an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat. But before we jump to any conclusions, there are several important things to consider: The number of people who developed AF during this study was small: only 1.24%. That's the absolute risk of AF. Even if working more than 55 hours a week does increase your risk of AF by around 40%, it would only be increasing it to something like 1.74% – which is still very small. Only a small ...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Does coffee make you live longer?
Conclusion This study, conducted on a large number of people across Europe, was backed up by similar findings in the US. It appears to show some association between people who drink higher amounts of coffee and a reduced risk of death. But the "potentially beneficial clinical implications" need to be considered carefully for a number of reasons: Although the analyses were adjusted for some confounding variables, there may be a number of other factors that differ between the groups that account for the differences in death, such as socioeconomic status, family history, other medical conditions, and use of medic...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 12, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Source Type: news

Heartburn drugs linked to premature death
Conclusion This larger set of observational data finds that PPI drugs are associated with an increase in the risk of early death compared with either H2 blockers or no acid suppression drugs. This was the case for participants both with and without gastrointestinal problems. It also appears as though the longer the PPIs drugs are taken, the greater the risk of death. Considering that these drugs are widely used in the UK, these findings may cause concern. But the research has a number of important limitations: The study was conducted in a population of mostly white, older US male veterans, which might limit the ability...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication Source Type: news

Overweight teen boys have increased risk of stroke in later life
Conclusion The findings of this large longitudinal cohort study seem to demonstrate a link between being overweight aged 20 and an increased risk of stroke. This risk was regardless of whether the boy had been overweight aged 8 or not. There seemed to be no increased risk for boys who were overweight aged 8 but were a normal weight by the age of 20. The study was conducted before the obesity epidemic, and might be even more relevant today. But there are a number of considerations to take into account before we draw any conclusions: Participants were followed up until they were 52-68, so all the strokes occurred at a r...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 29, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Obesity Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

Cholesterol-lowering jab 'shows promise' for heart disease
Conclusion This mouse study evaluated the potential of the AT04A vaccine to lower cholesterol levels and potentially reduce or prevent heart disease. The results were promising, showing that mice given the vaccine produced antibodies against the enzyme that stops LDL cholesterol being cleared from the body. This resulted in reduced total and LDL blood cholesterol levels, as well as reduced atherosclerosis. No major safety concerns or side effects were reported. Following this research, AT04A has now moved on to a phase I clinical trial. A small number of people will be given the vaccine to see if it's safe for use in huma...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 20, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Risk of aspirin-related bleeding is higher in the over-75s
Conclusion This valuable cohort study helps to quantify the extent of bleeding risk in people taking aspirin for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Aspirin is well known to carry bleeding risk – particularly in older adults – but this study suggests the risk may be higher than previously thought. The researchers say that for adults under the age of 75, the annual bleeding risk at around 1% is similar to that suggested by previous trials, as is the ratio of bleeds to the number of cardiovascular events. However, this risk increases for older adults, especially for major bleeds of the stomach and upper diges...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication Older people Source Type: news

Being overweight, not just obese, still carries serious health risks
Conclusion This impressively large global study demonstrates that the prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide among both children and adults. It supports what has long been thought, that increased body mass index (BMI) contributes to a range of illnesses and is ultimately responsible for a large number of deaths, particularly from cardiovascular disease. One potential limitation is the use of self-reported BMI or health outcome data in some of the studies, although the majority used a specific independent measurement so this is unlikely to have biased results too much. It is also always difficult from observational d...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 13, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Obesity Source Type: news

Beta-blockers 'useless' for many heart attack patients, study reports
Conclusion This study aimed to see whether beta blockers reduce mortality in people who've had a heart attack but who don't have heart failure or systolic dysfunction. It found no difference between those who were and those who were not given beta-blockers on discharge from hospital. The authors say this adds to the evidence that routine prescription of beta blockers might not be needed for patients without heart failure following a heart attack. Current UK guidelines recommend all people who have had a heart attack take beta blockers for at least one year to reduce risk of recurrent events. Only people with heart failure ...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 30, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medication Source Type: news

'Chocolate good for the heart' claims sadly too good to be true
Conclusion Health stories that suggest eating or drinking something we like, whether it's chocolate or wine, are always popular. But they don't really tell us anything we don't know already. Certain foods may have a small impact on certain types of diseases, but it's the overall diet that counts. Previous studies have already suggested that the antioxidant properties of cocoa could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, so it's surprising that this study focused on one particular cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation. AF is a common condition that affects heart rate, often causing a faster than normal, irregular ...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 24, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Source Type: news

'Fat but fit' still at higher risk of heart disease
Conclusion The question of whether someone can be "fat but fit" has been much debated. If you're obese but exercise, eat well and don't have metabolic risk factors, the theory goes, you could be just as healthy as someone of recommended weight. This study suggests that may not be true. It is definitely worth adopting a healthy lifestyle, whatever your weight. The study found that, the more metabolic risk factors people had, the more likely they were to develop heart disease, cardiovascular disease and so on. Metabolic risk factors do make a difference. But in this large study, on average, people who were obese ...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 17, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Obesity Source Type: news

Review finds no link between dairy and heart attack or stroke risk
Conclusion This large meta-analysis of cohort studies demonstrated no increased risk to cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or all-cause death from eating dairy products. The review has strengths in its large size and the fact it was able to analyse different types of dairy product, such as high and low-fat and everyday products such as cheese and yoghurt. However, there are a number of factors to consider: The results of a systematic review are only as good as the quality of the underlying studies. These are all observational studies and it's possible that unadjusted health and lifestyle factors are having an...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Neurology Source Type: news

Low-gluten diet linked to heart attack risk
Conclusion This study has found that while overall gluten consumption in people without coeliac disease may not be related to heart disease risk, avoiding whole grains (wheat, barley and rye) in order to avoid gluten may be associated with increased heart disease risk. This study has several strengths, including its large size, the fact that data was collected prospectively and diet assessed at several time-points, the long period of follow up, and that it took into account a wide range of potential confounders. As with all studies of this type, it is possible that other factors may affect the results. However, the researc...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Statins side effects 'have been overstated', says study
Conclusion This is a complex study that provides a plausible explanation for the difference in reports of adverse effects of statins in RCTs and observational studies, some of which have suggested as many as 1 in 5 people get side effects from statins. However, we need to be aware of some limitations and unanswered questions: When people knew they were taking statins, they were more likely to report muscle pain than those not taking statins. But they were less likely to report muscle pain than in the first phase of the study, when they didn't know whether they were taking statins or placebo. We don't know why this is. ...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Statins side effects 'have been overstated,' says study
Conclusion This is a complex study that provides a plausible explanation for the difference in reports of adverse effects of statins in RCTs and observational studies, some of which have suggested as many as 1 in 5 people get side effects from statins. However, we need to be aware of some limitations and unanswered questions: When people knew they were taking statins, they were more likely to report muscle pain than those not taking statins. But they were less likely to report muscle pain than in the first phase of the study, when they didn't know whether they were taking statins or placebo. We don't know why this is. ...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Reported link between diet drinks and dementia and stroke is weak
Conclusion The researchers used data from a large ongoing cohort study to look for links between consumption of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks and risk of stroke or dementia. This cohort study benefits from the large overall sample size, long period of data collection, careful and valid diagnostic assessments, and adjustments for a number of confounders. However, care must be taken when interpreting these results – particularly if latching on to the maximal tripled risk figures reported in the media. There are several points to consider: Small numbers The new number of strokes and dementia in this study was sma...
Source: NHS News Feed - April 21, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Neurology Source Type: news

Could your tattoos put you at risk of heat stroke?
Conclusion The study showed that artificially stimulating sweat glands in a tattooed area of skin in 10 men produced a lower sweat rate than stimulating sweat glands in a non-tattooed area of skin in the same person. The authors suggest a number of possible explanations for this, including that it may be because tattooing skin starts an inflammatory response that may cause damage to normal tissue including sweat glands. However, these are only theories and need to be investigated further. While this is interesting preliminary research, there are some important things to remember: There were only 10 male participants invo...
Source: NHS News Feed - April 13, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Eating one egg a day may lower risk of stroke
Conclusion This research broadly supports previous studies in this area, which suggest eating eggs does not increase the chances of getting heart disease or stroke. It raises the possibility that eggs may decrease the risk of having a stroke, but there are limitations to the study, meaning this result may not be reliable. It's interesting that researchers did not find a "dose response" between stroke risk and the number of eggs eaten. Usually, if something is having an effect on the chances of getting a condition, you can see a linear pattern – having more of that food or treatment increases or decreases chanc...
Source: NHS News Feed - November 2, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Neurology Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Calcium supplements linked to post-stroke dementia in women
Conclusion The media paint this as a troubling study for older women who take calcium to strengthen their bones. However the small size of the study (only 98 women took calcium supplements, and only 14 of those got dementia) and its observational nature mean that we cannot rely on the results. As the researchers mention, it is possible that those taking supplements were less healthy than those that didn't in some unmeasured way. Further research may improve our confidence in these results. Broken bones are not a trivial matter for older people – a broken hip can be the difference between being able to live independentl...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 18, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Medication Older people Source Type: news

UK heart disease and stroke death rates now lower than cancer
Conclusion This valuable research informs on the burden of cardiovascular disease and associated mortality across European countries. It demonstrates that CVD is still the most common cause of death across Europe, but rates have been falling over the past 10 years. This fall means that in several European countries, including the UK, cancer rates now overtake CVD death rates in men. Generally, CVD disability and burden of disease seems to be greater in Eastern European countries. The WHO mortality data and population data are quite up-to-date and should be reliable, though as the researchers say, there was a lack of high ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 15, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Cancer Neurology Source Type: news

Working long hours 'increases stroke risk'
Conclusion This systematic review with meta-analysis aimed to assess the association between long working hours and the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.  Overall, the study found longer working hours above 55 hours a week was linked to a third increased risk of stroke. The link with heart disease was weaker.  It also found the influence of long hours on heart disease risk was higher for those of lower socioeconomic groups than it was for those of intermediate or high socioeconomic groups. This study has several strengths. This includes the large overall sample size and the inclusion of both published a...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 21, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Neurology Source Type: news

Heart attack, stroke and diabetes 'can shorten life by 23 years'
Conclusion This study used two large cohort-derived data sets to estimate the number of years of life lost as the result of a history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes across different ages. The study's large size, relevance to the UK and long-term follow-up increases our confidence in its conclusions and their relevance to England and Wales. As with all studies, it has limitations, but these were relatively small and unlikely to affect the main conclusions. This study shows a history of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart attack can significantly shorten life expectancy, especially if these conditions are developed earli...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 8, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Diabetes Lifestyle/exercise Neurology Older people Source Type: news

GP receptionists 'could help prevent stroke deaths'
Conclusion This valuable and well-designed study assessed a cross-section of general practices from one UK region, looking at how well receptionists are able to recognise the signs of stroke and give appropriate advice – either immediately passing patients on to the GP or telling them to contact emergency services. The study has many strengths. These include the large sample of GP surgeries and calls assessed, and that receptionists weren't aware of the nature of the study and the calls were unannounced. At the end of each individual call receptionists were told the call was part of the study and no further action was n...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 29, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medical practice Neurology Source Type: news

Elderly living near noisy roads have 'increased stroke risk'
ConclusionThis modelling study has examined the associations of exposure to traffic noise, independent of air pollution, on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, as well as on cardiovascular hospital admissions in adult and elderly populations.It has shown a link between increased noise from traffic pollution and risk of hospital admission for stroke and death. Possible reasons for deaths were most likely to be linked to heart or blood vessel disease, which could be due to increased blood pressure, sleep problems and stress from the noise.The limitations of this study are that the exposure model used is likely to overest...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 24, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Heart/lungs Neurology Older people Source Type: news

Eating chocolate may slightly lower your risk of stroke
ConclusionThis study used a large prospective cohort of English residents to estimate the risk chocolate poses to cardiovascular death and disease. In addition, they systematically combed the research literature for other similar studies, combining their results with that of other researchers. By comparing the highest chocolate consumers with chocolate abstainers, they found that chocolate was linked to a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. The risk for coronary heart disease was not statistically significant. Results from the meta-analysis of eight additional studies showed higher chocolate consumption was li...
Source: NHS News Feed - June 16, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Neurology Source Type: news

Study finds link between air pollution and stroke risk
Conclusion This study showed a clear link between rises in gas and particle pollution and the chances of being admitted to hospital or dying because of a stroke. The researchers showed the link was strongest on the day of exposure to raised pollution levels. But this study has some limitations. While systematic reviews are a good way to summarise all the research that has been published on a topic, they are only as good as the individual studies they include. About two-thirds of the studies used a time series design, which the researchers say is less effective in taking account of trends such as the season of year, rathe...
Source: NHS News Feed - March 25, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Neurology Source Type: news

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke
Conclusion This updated Cochrane review has found that oral HRT increases risk of stroke and blood clots, and does not appear to reduce overall risk of cardiovascular disease or death during follow-up. More exploratory analyses suggested that HRT might reduce risk of death from heart disease or non-fatal heart attack if it was started within 10 years of menopause, but this finding needs further confirmation. The review was carried out using robust methods and the trials were of good quality. Its findings are in line with the previous version of the review, and also with other reviews. There are some points to note: Thi...
Source: NHS News Feed - March 10, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medication Source Type: news

Longer sleep linked to stroke
Conclusion This cohort study found that, overall, people who sleep for more than eight hours have a 46% increased risk of stroke. When analysed separately, there was no statistically significant association for men, but a much higher increased risk for women, of 80%. A major strength of the study is the number of potential confounding factors that the researchers tried to account for, including many cardiovascular risk factors. However, it did not account for other illnesses such as sleep apnoea or cancer, which may have had an effect on the amount of sleep and risk of stroke. In addition, the study is reliant on the i...
Source: NHS News Feed - February 26, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Neurology Older people Source Type: news

Memory gaps in graduates a 'stroke warning sign'
Conclusion This study showed that highly educated people who notice memory complaints in themselves may be more likely to develop stroke than those who don’t, over an average of 12 years. The study had a number of strengths, such as its population-based prospective design and availability of data on more than 9,000 participants at baseline with a long follow-up. However, there were also a number of limitations that weaken the strength of the conclusions. It was not clear whether the memory complaints were assessed just once at the start of the study or an ongoing basis. Some people may report memory complaints that are o...
Source: NHS News Feed - December 12, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Mental health Older people Source Type: news

Targeted brain stimulation 'could aid stroke recovery'
Conclusion This mouse model of stroke has found that stimulating nerve cells in the part of the brain responsible for movement (the primary motor cortex) can lead to better blood flow and the expression of proteins that could promote recovery, as well as leading to functional recovery after stroke. But it remains to be determined whether a similar technique could be used in people who have had a stroke. The mice were genetically modified so nerve cells in the primary motor cortex produced an ion channel that could be activated by light. The nerve cells were then activated using a laser. To use this technique in humans, ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 19, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news

'Safe' stem cell therapy may help stroke recovery
Conclusion This study provides evidence that a new technique using a patient's own stem cells to aid the recovery from severe ischaemic stoke is feasible and appears to be safe. It was not designed to test whether the technique was better than doing nothing or better than other types of care or treatment. The authors are perfectly clear that this "proof-of-concept study was not designed with a control group or powered to be able to detect efficacy". This means we cannot be sure that the improvements seen in the five patients were caused by the stem cell treatment. They could have occurred anyway as part of the na...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 11, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Genetics/stem cells Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Flu jab "may cut" stroke risk by a quarter
ConclusionThis research finds that, overall, having the flu vaccine reduced the risk of a person experiencing a stroke by about 25%. The reduction in risk seemed to be greatest within the first three months of vaccination, but remained for up to 12 months.  However, the effect lasted only if the vaccine was given early in the flu season (September to mid-November); giving the vaccine late in the flu season (mid-November to February) was not associated with significantly reduced risk.The research benefits from using data coded within the General Practice Research Database for England and Wales for almost 50,000 people with...
Source: NHS News Feed - February 21, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Neurology Older people Source Type: news

Female stroke survivors’ quality of life investigated
Conclusion The study suggests that women have a lower quality of life than men three and 12 months after they have been discharged from hospital after experiencing a stroke or mini-stroke. While the results were statistically significant, the relative differences appeared small. For example at three months (where the largest difference was found) the average difference in quality of life score between men and women was 0.036 points. This is on a quality of life scale that ranges from 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health). The quality of life difference at 12 months was 0.022 points. Whether these small differences are clinicall...
Source: NHS News Feed - February 10, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Female stroke survivors' quality of life investigated
Conclusion The study suggests that women have a lower quality of life than men three and 12 months after they have been discharged from hospital after experiencing a stroke or mini-stroke. While the results were statistically significant, the relative differences appeared small. For example at three months (where the largest difference was found) the average difference in quality of life score between men and women was 0.036 points. This is on a quality of life scale that ranges from 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health). The quality of life difference at 12 months was 0.022 points. Whether these small differences are clinicall...
Source: NHS News Feed - February 10, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Stroke risk 'higher at start of warfarin treatment'
Conclusion This study has found that warfarin was associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke during the first 30 days of treatment. After 30 days of treatment, warfarin was associated with a decreased risk of stroke. However, this study has a number of limitations that should be considered: All information was from patient records, which means that it wasn't subject to recall bias, but the information may not be complete – we do not know if, for example, people took the medication they were prescribed. There may be other factors (confounders) that explain the association seen. In particular, the ba...
Source: NHS News Feed - December 19, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medication Source Type: news

Aircraft noise linked with stroke and heart problems
Conclusion With debate currently taking place about the expansion of airports around London, the possible effects of aircraft noise on health is an important area for research. But as the authors point out, this study has several limitations. In particular, although the authors took account of confounders such as ethnicity, deprivation and smoking rates at the area level, they had no information on these factors at the individual level. So results at area level are not applicable to all individuals within these small areas. In addition, the risk of coronary heart disease may have been affected by large south Asian populati...
Source: NHS News Feed - October 9, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Stem cell stroke treatment trial results 'show promise'
This study looked at the safety and tolerability of a stem cell therapy called ReN001 in the treatment of ischaemic stroke, where the blood supply to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. The findings, which were reported in a press release, suggest that the nine people included in the study experienced no adverse effects and showed a modest improvement in stroke-related symptoms. However, the full findings from the PISCES trial are yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Until this happens, it is worth exercising a little healthy scepticism about the claims being made. This research is still at a very early s...
Source: NHS News Feed - May 28, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Medical practice QA articles Source Type: news

Is exercise to blame for Andrew Marr's stroke?
Much of the media is reporting on an interview given by broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr, who is recovering from a stroke he had in January 2013. In the interview, Marr explained that he had two 'mini-strokes' – or transient ischaemic attacks – the year before, but he "hadn't noticed". Marr suggested that his stroke was triggered by vigorous exercise on a rowing machine, saying, "I'm frankly lucky to be alive". But can exercise actually be bad for your health? It all depends on the type of exercise you are doing and your individual circumstances. It is worth noting that almost all of ...
Source: NHS News Feed - April 15, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Neurology QA articles Source Type: news

Mediterranean diet cuts heart and stroke risk
Conclusion The results of this randomised controlled trial appear to confirm previous studies that there are benefits to following a Mediterranean diet. The trial has many strengths, including its large size, long period of follow-up, thorough assessment of medical outcomes (including reviewing medical records and having contact with the family doctor), and careful attempts to assess whether the diets were being followed. As this is a randomised controlled trial, it should also balance out other health and lifestyle differences between the groups that may influence cardiovascular risk. This avoids the limitations of m...
Source: NHS News Feed - February 26, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Light shed on how brain's stroke defences work
Conclusion This research has identified a potential role the protein hamartin plays in protecting nerve cells from death if they are temporarily starved of oxygen and glucose. Animal research such as this is essential for furthering our understanding of how the body and its cells work. Although there are obviously differences between rats and humans, there are also a lot of biological similarities. This type of research is a good starting point for better understanding human biology. Treating stroke is very difficult, so new treatments that could prevent nerve cell death would be very valuable. At this stage, the protein h...
Source: NHS News Feed - February 25, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news