• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Environmental Health Note/ Aspirin & Heart Disease

Air Date: Week of October 31, 2003

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

Living on Earth's Kathy Lutz reports on a study suggesting discontinuing aspirin therapy may lead to heart attacks for coronary patients.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Just ahead: fear and fondness for Australia’s flying foxes. First, this Environmental Health Note from Kathy Lutz.

[HEALTH NOTE THEME]

LUTZ: Aspirin has been around for a century, but only recently have scientists realized the drugs’ ability to thin the blood by preventing clots. Now doctors frequently recommend patients with coronary artery disease take aspirin to prevent heart attacks or stroke. But because it thins the blood, aspirin can cause bleeding. So, doctors often discontinue aspirin therapy when a patient is about to have any kind of surgery, even as minor as a dental procedure.

To find out how aspirin withdrawal can affect coronary patients a group of French researchers studied 1,236 heart attack victims at the University Hospital Pasteur in Nice between September 1999 and April 2002. Fifty-one of the patients were admitted about one week after they stopped aspirin therapy. The reasons for their aspirin withdrawal ranged from preparation for upcoming minor surgery to failure to follow doctor’s orders. Fifteen had a history of heart attack and 36 reported chest pain before their hospitalization.

Researchers presented their results at the recent American College of Chest Physician's meeting in Orlando. They called for more research and asked physicians and patients to be cautious when discontinuing aspirin therapy. And that’s this week’s Health Note. I’m Katherine Lutz.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

[MUSIC: Mohammed Rafi “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” GHOST WORLD SOUNDTRACK (Shanachie-2001)]

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.