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For people without heart disease, taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes may increase the risk of severe brain bleeding to the point where it outweighs any potential benefit, a research review suggests.
U.S. doctors have long advised adults who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke but are at high risk for these events to take a daily aspirin pill, an approach known as primary prevention. Even though there’s clear evidence aspirin works for this purpose, many physicians and patients have been reluctant to follow the recommendations because of the risk of rare but potentially lethal internal bleeding.
For the current study, researchers examined data from 13 clinical trials testing the effects of aspirin against a placebo or no treatment in more than 134,000 adults. The risk of intracranial hemorrhage, or brain bleeds, was rare: taking aspirin was associated with two additional cases of this type of internal bleeding for every 1,000 people, the study found.
But the bleeding risk was still 37 percent higher for people taking aspirin than for people who didn’t take this drug. “Intracranial hemorrhage is a special concern because it is strongly associated with a high risk of death and poorer health over a lifetime,” said study co-author Dr. Meng Lee of Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taiwan.
“These findings suggest caution regarding using low-dose in individuals without symptomatic cardiovascular disease,” Lee said by email.
Post-cardiac event use
For people who have already had a heart attack or stroke, the benefit of low-dose aspirin to prevent another major cardiac event is well established, researchers note in JAMA Neurology. But the value of aspirin is less clear for healthier people, for whom bleeding risks may outweigh any benefit, the study team writes.
Already, guidelines on aspirin for primary prevention of heart disease in the U.S., Europe and Australia have incorporated a need to balance the potential benefits against the risk of bleeding. For elderly people, who have a greater risk of bleeding than younger adults, the risks may be too great to recommend aspirin.
For adults ages 50 to 59 considering aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes, for example, the U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends the pill only for people who have at least a 10 percent risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next decade and who don’t have a higher-than-average risk of bleeding. (The American College of Cardiology provides an online risk calculator.
One limitation of the analysis is that the smaller clinical trials examined a variety of aspirin doses up to 100 milligrams daily. The analysis also only focused on brain bleeds, and not on other types of internal bleeding associated with aspirin.
“We have long known that aspirin can precipitate bleeding, most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract, but most devastatingly in the brain,” said Dr. Samuel Wann, a cardiologist at Ascension Healthcare in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who wasn’t involved in the study.
Despite the benefits for preventing heart attacks, the consensus on aspirin has changed over time, particularly for people without heart disease or hardening and narrowing of thearteries (atherosclerosis).
“We have previously recommended aspirin to prevent platelets from sticking to the inside of an individual’s arteries, but the benefit, while real, turns out to be small compared to the rare but devastating incidence of brain hemorrhage,” Wann said by email. “We no longer recommend routine use of aspirin in individuals who have no demonstrable cardiovascular disease or atherosclerosis.” (VOA)
By Vinod Mirani
There comes the official news of Zee TV network's merger with Sony TV and the news invokes a sense of melancholy. When India liberalised its policies in 1991, changes started taking place in all fields and one of them was the media. It marked the entry of privately owned television channels in India. What makes one a bit sad is that Zee TV, India's oldest television channel, will now merge with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), with Sony slated to hold the majority stake of 53 per cent as against Zeel's 47 per cent.
Naresh Goyal's Zee Telefilms Limited was the first to venture into the telecast medium with its Zee TV channel. The year was 1992, October 2, to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti. I remember the programme specially designed for the inaugural evening. To be candid, it was quite chaotic, like a children's costume party. One of the items stuck in my memory is a skit played out by two young men dressed as rustic Haryanvis, carrying huge dangs, and blabbering what they thought was funny. Though launched in October 1992, the regular daylong telecast on the channel started in 1993.
That opening show did not promise much and that is what the content in the early days of the channel presented. The channel had a huge collection of hit movies it had acquired from top notch producers, many of which starred Amitabh Bachchan. Programmes were woven around movies like songs, dialogues, scenes that were appreciated in the films earlier and were a sure shot eyeballs grabbers.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country. | Pixabay
The TV channel needed a running serial to hook the viewers which came its way in the form of Tara in 1993 and went on for five years. This was followed by Hum Paanch, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Banegi Apni Baat and such. Zee had the advantage of being the first alternative to Doordarshan, which was a government-owned enterprise and the programmes were approved by people who knew nothing about mass entertainment. Some babu who was in the Tourism Ministry one day would the next day be with the I&B Ministry and sitting on your TV script! Also, DD approved a serial only for 13 episodes and getting an extension if any, was a tough task. As it were, television took its time coming to India and, when it did, its debut was pathetic. Launched in Delhi, in what they called experiment basis, Doordarshan telecast for about two hours a week, not day! What was there to experiment when the medium was not only accepted elsewhere and was already in the process of moving from black and white to colour broadcast?
Doordarshan Logo. | Wikimedia Commons
For years, it served only a few hundred or so Delhi viewers who cared to own a TV set. TV came to India in September 1959, 23 years since its debut in the UK and six years after coulour telecast started in the US. The India entry was described as an experiment and this experiment lasted for an eternity till the introduction of colour television. Doordarshan branched out to a few other cities and, except for acting as a propaganda tool for the government, showing news bulletins besides educational programmes for students and farming programmes for the farmers, none of whom had access to a television set.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country, there used to be a waiting list of some months. If the idea was to promote television as an entertainment medium along with the government agenda, it finally happened only on the eve of the 1982 Asian Games. The then government wanted to showcase India as a progressive country which ran a colour television network through a satellite.
Initially, Doordarshan, which used one city channel to cater to all its people, encompassed Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi and other news and programmes aired only in the evenings with a special morning slot on Sundays. After going colour, slots for serials were outsourced and, it looked like DD had arrived as the first soap, Hum Log, followed by Buniyaad added to its viewership. Then there were serials based on the great Indian mythologies, Ramayana and Mahabharata, which are now replayed on other private channels.
Sadly, that was an era of using U-matic format tapes for telecast and, with little attention to storing or digitizing them, a lot of other great serials are now lost. (On an aside, talk of control: owning a radio set and, later, also TV set needed a license from the postal department in those days! And, till All India Radio went commercial, it was not even worth owning a radio.)
Since then, the floodgates for television channels have opened in India. Doordarshan itself started channels dedicated to sports, news, farming etc and also its regional channels in local languages. Many Indian and foreign channels came in. Today, though a layman may have lost count, there are about 900 TV channels in the country. They come and some vanish just as quickly.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. It was making inroad in the business of entertainment like cinema and television. Sony is an international label while Zee is an Indian brand which has continually been marking its place in the international arena. The Sony merger will only make it easier for Zee to make rapid progress as the channels list may be streamlined.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. | Wikimedia Commons
At present, Zee runs 49 domestic channels in 11 languages and 35 international channels of which eight are in non-Indian languages. To make things clear, the deal is between ZEEL, which is its entertainment channels arm, and not the Zee Media Corporation (earlier known as Zee News). Zee Media owns all the news channels including Zee News and WION and will continue to be owned by Zee Media. While the shares of Zee Media Corporation have remained static, the scrip of ZEEL went from around Rs 170 to near Rs 320 today. And, this is yet the Due Diligence stage and the merger may materialise only after many months!
News channels are forever and, so one thought, were the movie channels. The content of both can be said to be largely exclusive to a channel. But, as things stand, the movie channels are totally deprived of fresh content since they all go to OTT platforms. If one checked, the English movie channels are barely surviving repeating the same features day after day, Hindi channels feed on regional dubbed films, also oft repeated. Looks like a wise move for Zee to retain its news channels and trim the burden of other channels. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, entertainment, zee tv, sony tv, doordarshn, channels
Continuing with its commitment to support Small Medium Businesses (SMBs), Amazon India on Sunday announced that it is all set to begin its 'Great Indian Festival' (GIF) 2021 from October 3. The company said that Amazon GIF 2021 is dedicated to lakhs of small sellers, including over 75,000 local shops from 450 cities, offering their unique selection of products to customers across the country.
"Our top priority remains customer trust and the interest of our sellers, especially the lakhs of small sellers and the tens of thousands of local shop owners across India," the company said in a statement. "The Amazon Great Indian Festival will now start from October 3, 2021 and as always, Prime members will have early access," it added.
The shopping festival will also showcase products from Amazon sellers under various other programs such as Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, Amazon Karigar, as well as top Indian and global brands across categories. The festival would include over 1,000 new product launches from top brands such as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony, Apple, Boat, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Fossil, Levi's, BIBA, Allen Solly, Adidas, etc. Amazon Business customers in India will be able to avail exclusive offers, bulk discounts, lower festive price offers, cashback, rewards and more, for their regular business buying or corporate gifting for clients or employees. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, Amazon, Shopping, festival, October
Indian Meteorological Department issues a warning of the approaching Cyclone Gulab which will hit Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on 26th September 2021. Heavy rainfall can be expected in northern states till 28th September 2021. It is the third September Cyclone of the century that came knocking on our door unexpectedly. The country has already faced major damage left behind by Cyclone Tauktae and Cyclone Yaas in May. These are the warnings from our environment about the increasing climate change which is becoming more and more severe with days passing by.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a report on how human-induced climate change is gathering pace and how extreme weather events have reached our doorsteps every seven-year or so. IPCC released a report in August 2021 and issued an environmental warning for India to cut down its carbon emissions to avoid a climate catastrophe. India is the third-largest carbon emitter in the world, the first two being China and the US. In Paris Climate Agreement India pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030. India aims to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. India's carbon emissions fell 24 percent from 2005 levels by 2016- in 11 years. However, India has not yet set out a target for when it will start reducing total emissions (the so-called peak emission year).
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The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent runaway climate change. However, the report shows that this goal is slipping out of reach as several countries are not cutting down their carbon emissions quick enough; and causing global temperature to rising and irreversible climatic changes.
The IPCC report 2021 has something that the second-most populous country in the world, India which was also ranked seventh in a major climate risk index of 2019 cannot ignore. The report says, "The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years," Climate scientists have claimed such disturbed climate systems of oceans and atmosphere is most likely to result in harsh extreme weather events, that will keep getting worse and so will their impact. The result is right in front of our eyes the third cyclone; Cyclone Gulab from the Bay of Bengal is going to hit the Indian subcontinent merely after 4 months of Cyclone Yaas. The report also warned us about the increasing heavy precipitation from the Himalayan Range shortly which would result in floods in several states.
India will also need to adapt to increased water scarcity, droughts, floods, cyclones, and other natural disasters according to the IPCC report. Gettyimages
According to the 2019 global report by the World Resources Institute India is one of the 17 countries where water stress is extremely high. Even the first-ever climate change report published by the Indian government in 2020 it was discovered that the frequency and intensity of droughts have increased by a large scale as compared to 1952 to 2016. The warning has been issued that the heat waves would intensity by fourfold by the end of the century. India will also need to adapt to increased water scarcity, droughts, floods, cyclones, and other natural disasters according to the IPCC report.
India needs to curb the emissions as soon as possible, embrace sustainable development and natural defenses – and more importantly, the country needs to assess the risk before we do anything with the environment.