Curious about Everything

Category: Heart / Stroke

“These crimes were preventable.” » Warning signs present in 1 in 3 homicides of intimate partners

Tara Carman / Kimberly Ivany / Eva Uguen-Csen / CBC »

More than three-quarters of victims were women. Most of the accused, 78 per cent, were men.

Intimate-partner homicides in Canada are among the most traumatic and horrific of crimes, often occurring in the victim’s home, scarring families and communities for decades. Our investigation found more than 400 people, mostly children, lost parents to domestic violence over the course of five and a half years.

What’s more, these crimes are preventable. There are known warning signs that a relationship could turn deadly, so we set out to find how many were present in Canadian cases. Future stories in this series will take a closer look at what can be done.

CBC’s investigation tracked known predictors of homicides in relationships and the extent to which they were present in each case.

These included:

  • Whether the victim had previously reported violence or harassment by the accused to police.
  • History of choking or strangulation.
  • Pattern of coercive or controlling behaviour.
  • Previous threats to kill the victim.
  • Threatening the victim with a weapon.
  • Recent or pending separations.

More »

Influenza and heart disease » The surprising connection that might convince you to get your flu vaccine

Science Daily »

It’s well-known that the flu can lead to significant respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia, bronchitis and bacterial infection of the lungs. The virus’ effects on the heart have historically been harder to parse out, in part because many patients already have a known predisposition to cardiac events and in part because the cardiac event often occurs weeks after the onset of the flu.

But here’s what recent research has shown:

  • Cardiovascular deaths and influenza epidemics spike around the same time.
  • Patients are six times more likely to experience a heart attack the week after influenza infection than they are at any point during the year prior or the year after the infection.
  • In one study looking at 336,000 hospital admissions for flu, 11.5% experienced a serious cardiac event.
  • Another study looking at 90,000 lab-confirmed influenza infections showed a strikingly similar rate of 11.7% experiencing an acute cardiovascular event.
  • One in eight patients, or 12.5%, admitted to the hospital with influenza experienced a cardiovascular event, with 31% of those requiring intensive care and 7% dying as a result of the event, another study found.

More »

Phthalates, chemicals used in cosmetics and food packaging, connected to 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S.

Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian »

The group of chemicals called phthalates, also known as plasticizers, may contribute to the early deaths of 91,000 to 107,000 older adults in the US each year, according to a new study.

Adults between 55 and 64 with the highest concentrations of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die of any cause, especially heart disease, than adults with lesser exposure.

More »

Most adults should not take a daily aspirin to prevent the first heart attack or stroke as “aspirin use can cause serious harms and risk increases with age”

Lindsey Tanner, AP »

Older adults without heart disease shouldn’t take daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, an influential health guidelines group said in preliminary updated advice released Tuesday.

Bleeding risks for adults in their 60s and up who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke outweigh any potential benefits from aspirin, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in its draft guidance.

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