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Low Dose Aspirin as Preterm Birth Prevention; Low Levels Alcohol Consumption & Brain Health; Grilled Meat & Elevated Blood Pressure

written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Saturday, 23rd June ,2018

Low Dose Aspirin May Lower Rate of Preterm Birth (PTB)

A recent study, released on June 15, 2018,  by researchers from the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, showed how baby aspirin use significantly lowers the rate of preterm birth in patients less than 34 weeks pregnant.

In this study, consisting of 2543 women with similar baseline characteristics except for marital status, 1262 (49.6%) were placed on daily low dose aspirin while 50% were in the placebo group.  After adjusting for multiple variables such as Body Mass Index (BMI), race, smoking, marital status and education level, the authors found there was a substantial decrease in rate of preterm births before 34 weeks (six weeks before expectant due date) in those who were on low dose aspirin.  They concluded that low dose aspirin may be a new treatment option to prevent preterm birth and further study should be done.

Consumption of Grilled Meat Might Link To Elevated Blood Pressure

A study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2018 Epidemiology and Prevention — Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions, linked frequent consumption of grilled meat to elevated blood pressure.  The researchers looked at 3 studies with 100,000 people eating grilled meat at least 2 times weekly.  

Those who grilled, broiled or roasted their meat at a high temperature more than 15 times monthly had a 17% higher risk of elevated blood pressure than those who did so less than four times a month.  Those who had their meat grilled at a high temperature also had a15% higher risk of elevated blood pressure as compared to those who prepared their meat at a lower internal temperature.  The researchers stipulated the difference in blood pressure was due to a chemical released by the protein in meat when exposed to high temperatures.  Further study is needed to confirm this possible link of grilled meat and elevated blood pressure.


Low Level of Alcohol Consumption Might Benefit Brain Health

A study from the University of Rochester Medical Center, published in February 2018 in the Journal Scientific Reports, showed how low levels of consumed of alcohol, defined as 2 1/2 drinks per day, can decrease brain inflammation and “clean up” waste including the protein beta amyloid and tau which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  

High levels of alcohol consumption, however, has shown the opposite effect, that of cognitive decline. In another study published in JAMA, heavy drinkers of more than four drinks per day or 14 drinks per week for men and more than three drinks per day or seven per week for women, had 22% higher risk in Alzheimer’s disease than the nondrinkers.

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