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Short Course: Heavy drinkers have more post-surgery problems

People who have more than a couple of alcoholic drinks every day tend to have more complications after surgery than teetotalers

Written by Reuters | Published: June 29, 2013 3:37:46 am

Heavy drinkers have more post-surgery problems

NEW YORK: People who have more than a couple of alcoholic drinks every day tend to have more complications after surgery than teetotalers or light drinkers,according to a review of past studies. The analysis confirms that “alcohol and surgery are a bad combination,” Bolette Pedersen of the Clinical Health Promotion Center of Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg University Hospital in Denmark,told Reuters Health by email. Infections and slow wound healing were the most common complications associated with heavy drinking,according to lead author Marie Eliasen of the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen. Heavy drinkers were 73 per cent more likely to contract a post-op infection,80 per cent more likely to have difficulty breathing and 29 percent more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit than non-drinkers,according to results published in the Annals of Surgery.

Heart failure tied to higher cancer risk: Study

NEW YORK: People with heart failure are also more likely to be diagnosed with cancer,according to a new study that followed older adults with and without heart problems. The findings don’t prove that heart failure,when the heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of the body,causes cancer. Researchers said more studies are needed to determine what might explain the link. Dr Sudhir Kushwaha,who worked on the study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,Minnesota,said the association makes sense,because a lack of blood and oxygen could create problems in many organs. After accounting for certain disease risks such as people’s weight and whether they smoked,Kushwaha and his colleagues calculated that heart failure patients were 68 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than their heart failure-free pairs. Kushwaha’s group said there are a few possible explanations for the link,all of which need more study.

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