The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

February 6, 2014

Anxiety linked to higher risk

(Continued)

One particular study found that brain imaging failed to identify people who might benefit more from endovascular treatment.

Endovascular therapy has also been used after IV tPA to treat patients with moderate to severe ischemic stroke. The largest study to compare this combined approach with IV tPA alone found more open vessels with endovascular therapy, and similar safety outcomes between the approaches, but the trial was stopped early because the combination approach did not change stroke survivors’ functional independence enough to be statistically significant. Investigators have suggested that endovascular therapy might still provide benefit if the relevant vessels could be opened earlier in the course of stroke, and feel more trials are warranted.

10. Niacin doesn’t lower heart risks, may be harmful

In 2013, the largest study of niacin showed that the drug, combined with laropiprant, added to reduce the facial flushing caused by niacin, does not benefit people at risk for heart disease or stroke, and may even be harmful.

Niacin is a B vitamin traditionally used to raise HDL or “good” cholesterol and lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The new study of 25,000 people showed the drug combination failed to reduce the chances of non-fatal heart attack or heart-related death, stroke, or the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery.

People taking the drug also had more bleeding, infections, diabetes and related complications, indigestion and diarrhea and itchy skin, compared to those taking a placebo.

Based on these results, patients taking niacin are encouraged to ask their healthcare providers if they should keep taking it.

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