Death from heart disease has been decreasing since the 1960s and it's come down largely because of decreased smoking, good medicines for blood pressure, and more recently cholesterol. But if you look at the youngest age groups, it's plateauing and beginning to go up in the mid-30s and mid-40s age groups.
When Aftab Ahmed suffered a heart attack, the doctors attending him in Dhaka were puzzled. Unlike many typical heart disease patients, Aftab was in his 20s, he did not have high blood pressure, diabetes or high levels of blood fats and had never smoked. Young and healthy patients like Aftab have now become increasingly common in the cardiology hospitals across Bangladesh.
Over the past number of years there has been an increased focus on the preventive benefits of various medicines. Aspirin is well known to reduce the chance of further heart attack or stroke in those with known cardiovascular disease but should it be taken by those who are otherwise well and what are the real benefits and risks of doing this?