Paddy Doherty provides health update after heart attack

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Researchers from the Glasgow Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences have found patients given the flu jab within 72 hours of their first heart attack have their risk of death from a second heart attack halved.

Professor Naveed Sattar of the Institute explained: “Flu puts stress on your arteries and makes your blood thicker, so if you have heart disease it could tip you over the threshold for a heart attack.

“And the risk of it happening again is greatest in the first six to 12 months.

“This evidence suggests it’s a good idea to not wait until the winter and get a flu jab straight away.”

The conclusion reached by the Glasgow Institute has been reached after two major studies reached the same conclusion.

Advice over the administration of the flu jab has been welcomed by doctors.

Consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital Professor Martin Cowie said: “This is interesting and could be relatively easy to implement in general practice.”

The reason why is because the NHS already has a stock of flu jabs it can take from to give to heart attack survivors.

Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the heart ends abruptly.

Normally this will be caused by a blood clot, but often there are reasons for the development of the blood clot.

Causes of heart attacks include coronary heart disease, drug misuse, and lack of oxygen in the blood.

The most common cause is coronary heart disease; a condition in turn caused by:
• Smoking
• A high-fat diet
• Diabetes
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Being overweight or obese
• Inactivity.

Although heart attacks are a serious condition, they can be prevented through the combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise.

One of the most effective forms of exercise is cycling.

In recent study cyclists were found be 23 percent less likely to die prematurely compared to non-cyclists.

Published in the journal Sports Medicine, the study found cyclists were less likely to experience cardiovascular disease.

The recommended amount of cycling needed to experience the benefits was 130 minutes a week.

Furthermore, the greatest benefit was seen among those who used their bicycle to commute or go to the shops rather than those who used it purely as a fitness enhancer.

In common with other forms of exercise cycling has a mental health benefit.

Speaking with Alistair Campbell earlier this year Tour de France winner and Gold Medal winner at the 2012 Olympics Bradley Wiggins said: “The bike is a great antidepressant.”

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