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Tobacco giants to help pay for NHS, 80% of men could avoid heart attacks with lifestyle changes, stroke patients three times more likely to die if statins are stopped

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines.

The Labour Party is considering a windfall tax on the profits of UK tobacco giants along with a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m to help fund the NHS, the Guardian reports.

According to the Nuffield Trust there could be a financial shortfall of £2bn in 2015/16.

The mansion tax could raise around £1.7bn and while there are no details yet for the tax on tobacco profits the Treasury raised a substantial £9.5bn in revenue from tobacco duties in 2011-2012.

The Daily Mail reports that that a new study from Sweden suggests that 80% of men could avoid a heart attack with four ‘simple lifestyle changes’.

Quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, eating a healthy diet and exercise are the main factors – the younger the men adopt a healthy lifestyle the more protection against heart attacks they accrue.

Having a waist measuring under 37 inches was also key in reducing the risk of a heart attack. The researchers followed 20,721 healthy Swedes aged 45-79 over 11 years.

Finally, the Telegraph reports that stroke patients are three times more likely to die if statins are stopped, according to a new study.

Researchers in California believe that statins are not just beneficial for strokes caused by blood clots and blockages of the blood vessels but also for strokes caused by intracerebral haemorrhage – bleeding on the brain.

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