BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7046.1620 (Published 22 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1620

Despite childhood immunisation programmes the incidence of pertussis in the United States is increasing, particularly among adults. A prospective study of 153 patients aged over 18 with persistent cough who presented to a single health plan in California found an incidence of pertussis of 12% (JAMA 1996;275:1672-4). In none of the patients was the diagnosis suspected. This lack of awareness of the disease in adults is thought to be the main cause of rising rates of pertussis in infants and suggests that booster immunisation of older children may be required.

Stress incontinence was blamed for their inactivity by two thirds of sedentary women students, says a paper from Sweden in the “British Journal of Urology” (1996;77:711-5). The report describes a trial of a device made of polystyrene foam that is inserted into the vagina: half of 85 women treated became completely dry, while another quarter were much improved.

The Scandinavian simvastatin trial showed that, in men with previous myocardial infarction or angina, treatment with simvastatin reduced the risk of death by 30% over five years. Further calculations (Circulation 1996;93:1796-802) have shown that the patients in the treated group spent 9951 days in hospital, as against 15 089 …

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