Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I Don’t Wish to Know That

One of the things I found diverting during my brief and unspectacular military career was the use of a number of unique and whimsical catch phrases.

The phrase in question was often applied in a context where someone, generally a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed recruit, had responded inappropriately to a suggestion question or comment, from an NCO.

The response was invariably “I don’t wish to know that”.

This same response could well be used in connection with a report in today’s Fox News about aspirin.

Many people (myself included) with a family history of cardiovascular disease are prescribed a daily low-dose aspirin as a precaution.

The study emanating from St. George's, University of London, found that long term use of aspirin can lead to ulcers and bleeding. On the other hand it averted cardiovascular events in one in 120 people over six years.

OK – so aspirin needs to be used with care. I’m not entirely sure that this is actually news, or that it is entirely new information to the GPs prescribing aspirin.

So why is it reported breathlessly by Fox news? It’s not news, not consequential in the sense that the risks are well understood, and not likely to cause mass fatalities.

So – as someone who will continue to take my daily low-dose aspirin with full knowledge of the low level of risks involved – all I can say is I Don’t Wish to Know That.

In any case, whilst neither are great, an ulcer is always preferable to a heart attack.

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