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Health News


Higher risk of heart attack if non-O blood group?

Monday, 01 May 2017

Latest research suggests people with a non-O blood type have a slightly increased risk of heart attack or stroke.


The researchers think it may be because people with A, B and AB blood groups have a higher level of a blood-clotting protein.


This research should not cause alarm as it is a slightly increased risk and it does not allow for the fact that everyone should focus on giving up smoking, eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking exercise as far more important factors in preventing heart attacks or stroke.


Having said that the research did involve a study of 1.3 million people so has a proper study size and looked at coronary events in more than 770,000 people with  non-O blood group and more than 510,000 people with O blood group.


About 1.5% of non-O blood group and 1.4% in O blood group experienced a heart attack or angina.

They also studied cardiovascular events in 708,000 people with non-O blood and 476,000 with O blood, which affected 2.5% and 2.3% of each group respectively.

Significantly, as opposed to the headlines when the researchers looked at fatal heart events, they found no major difference in risk between the O and non-O blood groups.


It was presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress.


It revealed that 15 in 1,000 people with a non-O blood group suffered a heart attack compared to 14 in 1,000 people with blood group O which although is a small increase in risk becomes more significant when looked at in terms of the whole population as previous research has found that people with the rarest blood group - AB - were the most vulnerable to suffer heart disease, a 23% risk increase.


48% of the population in the UK have blood group O which makes it the most common blood group.


There are a number of factors which can increase the risk of heart disease, such as smoking, being overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle and these can have a far more profound effect on our risk of heart disease.  However, they are all things that we can do something about – we cannot alter our blood group.

Your parents genes determine which blood group you are.


The research was from the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands and study author, Tessa Kole, said more research was needed to establish the reason cardiovascular risk increased in non-O blood group people.

She said: "In future, blood group should be considered in risk assessment for cardiovascular prevention, together with cholesterol, age, sex and systolic blood pressure."

For example, people with blood group A, who are known to have higher cholesterol in their blood may need a reduced treatment level for high blood pressure.

The associate medical director at The British Heart Foundation, Dr Mike Knapton, said the findings would not have a large impact on the current guidelines used to assess someone's risk of a heart attack.

"Most of a person's risk estimation is determined by age, genetics (family history and ethnicity) and other modifiable risk factors including diet, weight, level of physical activity, smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

"People with a non-O blood group type - AO, BO and AB - need to take the same steps as anyone wanting to reduce their CVD risk.

"That includes taking sensible steps to improve their diet, weight, level of physical activity and not smoking, and where needed, manage blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes."


If you would like help in giving up smoking, advice on healthier living, knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes testing, or find out your blood group your local pharmacy is a good place to start.


Free, GP-endorsed Menopause Symptoms Tracker helps women monitor their symptoms

Friday, 08 December 2017

A free Menopause Symptoms Tracker™ to help women identify and monitor menopause symptoms over time has been launched by . The online symptoms tracker allows women to identify symptoms, their severity and frequency; monitor their progression over a 90-day period and pinpoint those symptoms that might require special attention.

After a thorough review, Dr Steven Edmunds, MB BS BSc DRCOG FRCGP at Pontesbury Medical Practice, in Shropshire, UK, endorses the Symptoms Tracker, ‘The Menopause Symptoms Tracker is a useful free tool that can help women understand what symptoms are attributed to the menopause and then seek the right options to help alleviate their symptoms.’ ‘I would recommend that menopausal women take advantage of this broad-based support,’ concludes Dr Edmunds.

Although the severity of symptoms vary from woman to woman, according to the NHS, most women will experience some symptoms around menopause. ‘Often, women relate their menopause symptoms with PMS or PMT (Pre-menstrual Syndrome/Tension) and don’t know they have started their peri-menopause,’ explains Isabel Wood, co-founder of BeingEve. ‘By understanding what is happening to their bodies, women are better equipped to find the right solutions to help manage and alleviate their symptoms,’ adds Wood.

The Symptoms Tracker also includes a Daily Journal to record any thoughts, feelings and overall progress. Women can access the Symptoms Tracker by simply going to and registering with their email address. This tracker can also be beneficial to GPs and pharmacies. In a world where GPs struggle for time and pharmacies are becoming first call of care for many patients, the Symptoms Tracker enables better informed patients, facilitates easy data sharing (via a print option) and makes for a more meaningful and efficient conversation between medical professionals and patients. is an independent health and well-being website bringing women the latest expert advice, tools and solutions to live a healthier and happier menopause. BeingEve is owned by Lifestyle51 Media Ltd and was founded by Isabel Campos Wood and Nieves Navarro in April 2017. They are based in Weybridge, Surrey, UK. For more information, visit or you can email them at

Free, GP-endorsed Menopause Symptoms Tracker™ helps women track and monitor their symptoms


One more cup of coffee before I go?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

It seems like drinking three or four cups of coffee a day may have health benefits. Is this just another study into coffee consumption?  They seem to be frequent with conflicting conclusions.  This latest study was by the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh and while it stressed you should not start drinking coffee for health benefits the research was comprehensive and fairly positive for moderate drinkers.


There have been recent studies that suggested people who drank several cups of coffee a day tended to live longer but this research looked at over 200 studies and found that about three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of heart problems, liver disease and some cancer.


If you are pregnant coffee consumption should be reduced or avoided altogether as it was linked to a higher risk of miscarriage, low birth weight ad pre-term birth.


The conclusions from analysing all the other studies were:

high coffee consumption had benefits in 19 health outcomes and harmful effects in six health outcomes

For the other outcomes investigated no conclusive results could be drawn.

Some of the benefits found included:

A 10% reduced risk of death for those who drank more rather than less coffee

A 18% lower risk of getting most cancers for people who drank more rather than less coffee

A 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (for example heart attack or stroke) for people who regularly drank coffee against those who never did

A 29% lower risk of fatty liver disease not related to alcohol for people who drank coffee compared to those that didn’t

A 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes for people who drank more compared to less coffee


The effects of a high coffee consumption and beneficial outcomes were identified as best for liver disease, liver cancer, death after heart attack, leukaemia and gout.

The results are mostly positive and it certainly appears a few cups of coffee a day will do you any harm but far more detail and analysis of the variables is needed in the studies to make some definite statements of health benefits or otherwise.


Fantastic new menopause resource launches

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A great and much-needed new menopause website has just launched. is a new inspirational lifestyle website targeted at women between the ages of 40-55 that are going through menopause, bringing the latest expert thinking, advice and solutions to help women take control of their symptoms so they can live a healthier and happier menopause. includes articles, tools and advice from experts in the areas of sleep, nutrition, fitness and overall wellbeing, written exclusively for BeingEve; a free online Symptoms Tracker and Daily Journal to identify and track symptoms on a daily basis; personal stories from other women experiencing menopause; and the latest industry news, research and opinion.

BeingEve also offers the Four Pillar Lifestyle Plan, a monthly membership programme designed by a range of experts and including limited duration Reset Challenges as well as detailed Everyday Living Plans, with comprehensive tools and resources to help women manage their symptoms. The Four Pillars include: Sleep well, Eat well, Get Moving and Feel good.
For more information visit, or contact them at


Winter Flu Warnings – Get The Jab?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Warnings are appearing that this winter the flu virus could become a serious problem for thousands of people and increase pressure on an already under-strain NHS towards breaking point.

The warnings are based on the winters just experienced in Australia and New Zealand which can give a reasonable indication of what we can expect in the UK during our winter season.  The southern hemisphere have had their worst flu season for many years after, like here, having relatively low levels of flu spreading for the past few years.

The NHS has said this year has been different for them, with double the average flu cases already with some of the season remaining.


The NHS went through the worst winter it had seen for a generation last year and with bed shortages and long waiting times already hospitals are warning things could get worse, particularly for vunerable people such as the elderly.

There is no guarantee this winter flu will be severe across the UK and this current strain is no particularly special just more prevalent.  There are always a few strains around but one normally becomes far more common although not necessarily the same one as the southern hemisphere.


Should you get the flu jab?


Early signs are encouraging and it appears the vaccine available this year is pretty effective against this strain, unlike last year where it was less effective among the elderly.


If you are aged over 65, pregnant or have certain long-term conditions such as heart problems, stroke etc. you can get the flu jab free on the NHS.  Also healthcare workers or children 6 months to three years old at risk such as asthmatics can also get it free – a nasal spray is available free to some children.

You can get the jab from your doctors surgery or most local pharmacies.


Even if you are not eligible for a free jab you can protect yourself against flu by paying for the jab from your local pharmacy, usually for about £10 - £15.  It’s quick and doesn’t hurt.


Even if you had the jab last year strains change and protection decreases so you should get one every year, particularly if in one of the vulnerable groups.

High-risk groups, such older people, pregnant women and those who have long-term medical conditions or a weakened immune system, are at risk of complications.

The most common of which are chest infections.


Symptoms of flu include a high temperature, tiredness, weakness, general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough.



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