Author Archives: Harry Bourner

Is it worth worrying about your ibuprofen usage?

Research into anti-inflammatory tablets has clarified that this medication is closely linked to heart attacks. The study which was conducted at the University of Montreal has received a huge amount of coverage, but should it concern you?

This research is reminder that NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are not harmless; although these drugs have already been linked to heart failure and strokes in the past, they are still sold all over the country in supermarkets where no professional advice is given on how to take the drugs correctly.

What did the research highlight?

The research explored health records of around eight million patients who had an average age of 77 and whether or not they had used NSAIDs, such as: ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.

People who had used NSAID were found to have a 19 per cent higher chance of being admitted to hospital for heart failure. However, many news outlets also failed to point out that drugs like diclofenac are more dangerous than ibuprofen which the articles seemed to be focused more heavily on.

How was the media coverage of the story?

A large quantity of the coverage failed to highlight how the correlation between anti-inflammatory medication and heart problems was already well known.

The story received a huge amount attention from various media outlets and tended to exaggerate the research which had been conducted. Here are some of the titles:

  • Ibuprofen WARNING: Regular usage for just ONE week ‘increases heart attack risk’
  • Common painkillers may raise risk of heart attack by 100%
  • Taking ibuprofen to treat pain ‘for just ONE DAY increases your risk of heart attack by half’

What was the view of experts?

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation stated in response to growing concerns about the consumption of NSAIDs that, “It has been known for some years now that such drugs need to be used with caution in patients with, or at high risk of, heart disease. This applies mostly to those who take them on a daily basis rather than only occasionally.”

Chief medical officer at the Australian Heart Foundation, Garry Jennings stated, “There is really no information which suggests that they can cause either a cardiac arrest or a heart attack out of the blue. I think that is very unlikely.”

The overuse of NSAIDs can lead to various complications such as: stomach ulcers, and liver and kidney problems. Jennings stated, “They’re not smarties, they’re serious medications.”



So what should I do?

Researchers have highlighted how ibuprofen can still be taken, but consumers should stick to small doses and only take it for as long as it really has to be. It is also important to remember that you can always look for nondrug treatments, such as ice packs and muscle sprays for any inflammation which you may be facing.


Listen to more about the issue below, with interviews from various professionals questioned about some of the points above:

Risk of heart attacks from common painkillers

A new study suggests that there is a link between the frequent use of anti-inflammatory painkillers, for example: ibuprofen, and heart attacks.

Research shows that using these forms of painkillers would raise the risk of heart attack, ‘between 24 and 58 per cent overall’ in comparison with not using painkillers

The new study suggests that taking ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory’s increases the likelihood of having a heart attack within the first month of taking them if consumed in high doses.

Research conducted throughout 2013 found that a years worth of high-does treatment with ibuprofen and diclofenac (a treatment used by thousands of arthritis sufferers in the UK) causes three avoidable heart attacks and one fatal heart attack for every 1,000 users.



It was stated by Michèle Bally of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre that, “Taking any dose of NSAIDs for one week, one month, or more than a month was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction [heart attack].”

It is clear that doctors should consider both the positives and negatives when it comes to prescribing drugs, as sometimes they can create more dangerous issues.

So should you be worried? For most people under the age of 65 and those without heart problems, the answer is no. Most doctors also already try to avoid prescribing anti-inflammatory medication to people with these issues. The worries about these types of drugs also seem to only apply to those individuals who take the tablets on a daily basis.


Cuts cause conflict for university

The University of Westminster plans to make huge job cuts after a successive year of under enrolment of students.

In April, management made a statement to the trade unions that there will be large-scale redundancies due to a lack of undergraduate applications.

The university is asking staff to volunteer to resign in return for a lump sum payment and the signing of a settlement agreement. It is now planned that student numbers will drop from 13,000 to 10,000 from now until 2021. Senior management held a series of meetings on Thursday at which they attempted to outline the current situation.


Geoffrey Davies, the teaching member of the Court of Governors at the university, stated that, “I think a large portion of the problems which we face have been caused as a result of the Vice Chancellor and senior management failing to realize the enormity of the problems.” The former head of mass communication and journalism at the university also stated that, “…with falling birth rates and low satisfaction levels, courses should have been cut a lot earlier than now as this would have been a much more effective and calm way to cut costs.”

The university have stated that they have seen a fall in application numbers yet the fall for westminster is less than for competitor universities; recently the university fired the staff of a unit set up to promote a new revenue called Business Development, evidencing how cuts are already occurring.
The University of Westminster was contacted, but failed to respond on the issue.



Truck rams people on Stockholm street

It is reported by Swedish Police that a vehicle has rammed into people on a street in central Stockholm.

Three people are confirmed dead; there has been reports of shots fired. There are a number of people who have also been reported as injured.

The incident took place on Drottninggatan, one of the major pedestrian streets, at 15:00 local time.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said the country has been “attacked and everything indicated that this was an act of terrorism”.

Shots have also reportedly been fired in another part of the city, says BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, citing security sources.

US strike on Syria: Is Trump a hypocrite?

If Donald Trump has made anything clear during his presidency it’s that he will do absolutely anything to stop refugees from receiving help and entering the US. This is why many people feel that his decision to airstrike against Assad is a bit hypocritical.

It is reported that one of the reasons why the airstrike took place was because, “Trump was affected by images of dead children among casualties and felt compelled to act.” However, being exposed to images of defenseless dead or injured Syrian children seems to have become reality nowadays. For example, the image of Aylan Kurdi lying on the beach. However, at the time this this image was published, Trump was talking about taking action to ban muslims from coming to the United States.

It seems ironic as if Trump really did care about Syrian children, surely he wouldn’t ban Syrian refugees. PBS Frontline reported that, Between 2011 and 2016, at least 470,000 — more than 11 percent of Syria’s entire population were either wounded or killed. Instead of opening the US, he signed an executive order declaring that the US would not issue new visas to travelers from particular countries for 90 days.

Claude Taylor, a one of Clinton’s staff wrote,  “Now that there’s been a chemical gas attack and Trump felt compelled to act, will his policy change?” “Ok Trump. Put your policy where your mouth is. Reverse your refugee ban. Open our borders to Syrian refugees. Do it now.”

There is also a large amount of hypocrisy surrounding the idea that the military decision to launch an airstrike on Syria was something which he once claimed was “very bad” and “dangerous”.

Three years ago when Barack Obama was debating whether or not to take action on Assad after using chemical weapons on his civilians in 2011 when he was trying to stop a rebel uprising.

However, in a large amount of tweets published from June through to September in 2013, Mr Trump made it clear that it was a bad idea for Obama to attack Syria and claimed that, “The president needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution”. Congressional authorization didn’t seem to concern Trump when he launched the attack yesterday, something which left the democrats very concerned; highlights the hypocritical actions of Trump.


Watch Donald Trump order the military strike below:


US airstrikes on Syria: Will there be more?

Donald Trump calls on the world to help the US end the devastation which Syria is being exposed to, highlighting that there may be more attacks.

Donald Trump ordered an airstrike after seeing the damage which was caused in Syria; the White House has claimed that, “This is a reaffirmation of America’s moral leadership in the world.”

The airstrike shows a clear difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, as Obama had always talked about “red lines” when it came to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, however in contrast to Trump, he didn’t react to them when they occurred.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s supporters will feel that the decision shows strong leadership qualities, however his critics may feel that the reaction may have been to sudden and needed further debate.
Trump was quoted saying that his actions were a direct response towards a “vital national security interest” in an attempt to stop the use of chemical weapons on anyone around the world.

Opinions in the US remain divided:



The airstrike which involved 59 missiles hitting a Syrian airbase has also weakened US-Russia relations, recently a Russian defence ministry statement was read on Russian television and claimed that the US attack had been “ineffective” and claimed Syrian authorities were looking for 36 Tomahawk missiles which fell outside the base and missed the target.

The statement also pointed out that Russia would now stop further cooperation and communication with US forces in Syria.

The question which seems to have come to the forefront after the airstrikes is whether or not there are more strikes to come. A US official has called the strike a “one off” but Donald Trump’s request for other countries to join the US to stop the “bloodshed” seems to say something different.

This attack has put Trump in a direct confrontation for the first time with Putin, a supporter of the Assad regime, who was until now a man the US has stayed impartial about.

In response to the attack, Russia has called it, “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law”, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman saying he felt that the US had carried out the strikes as part of a “far-fetched pretext”.

In response to this, the US stated, “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?”

It is clear that the American people are not ready for another long military operation; definitely isn’t willing to put troops on the ground at the moment, but how long will they continue to airstrike?


The majority of nations seem to be supporting the US military strikes, perhaps suggesting that they will get involved:

BRITAIN:  Revealed that it ‘fully supported’ the strikes, calling them an ‘appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack’.

JAPAN: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that Japan ‘supports the US government’s resolve that it will never tolerate the spread and use of chemical weapons.’

FRANCE/GERMANY:  President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Assad needs to take ‘sole responsibility’ for the US strike following the chemical attack.


Burgers and Buns in Spitalfields Market

One man. With the task to figure out the best burgers and buns in Spitalfields Market.

Ed Atkins, a normal guy gives his opinion on the best bun in the market. From Bleeker Burger where he tried the infamous Bleeker Black which is constructed of two patties sandwiched between a layer of British black pudding, to Liberty Cheesesteak where the buns oozed perfectly with melted cheese, he will decide what’s the winner.

Let’s forget what the food bloggers are saying for once and just listen to a normal guy experience different burgers and buns in the iconic East London Market.

Make sure you check out his verdict below.

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