BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6986.1080 (Published 22 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1080

Data from the 69435 women enrolled in the nurses' health study (Annals of Internal Medicine 1995;122:430-3) suggest that those who used postmenopausal oestrogen treatments doubled their risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus. During 631551 person years of follow up 45 cases of the disease were confirmed; 15 were in women who had never taken hormones (an incidence of 4.5) and 30 were in hormone users (an incidence of 9.9). The relative risk was calculated as 2.1 with a confidence interval of 1.1 to 4.0.

Minerva was brought up to regard vitamin E as a vitamin without a deficiency disease, and this remains true, but it has now achieved a high profile in several chronic diseases. A review in the “British Heart Journal” (1995;73:299-301) argues that part of the explanation for the high rate of coronary heart disease in northern Europe is its citizens' low intake of the antioxidant vitamins E and C. And the conclusion? That we should be eating more cereal oil, olive oil, nuts, and fresh citrus fruits—unsurprising but worth repeating.

A diet rich in antioxidants may be especially important for cigarette smokers because of their high risk of coronary heart disease. Smoking generates free radicals, but a study of young smokers in Liverpool (Journal of Clinical Pathology 1995;48:385-7) found no differences …

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