Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7103.320 (Published 02 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:320

Since Boeing started building aircraft, its designers have had to raise the assumed weight of each passenger by 9 kg. The volume of the British Medical Bulletin (1997;53(2):229-450) on obesity quotes that figure and follows it with the effects on a person of shedding those 9-10 kg. Overall mortality is cut by 20-25%, the serum total cholesterol concentration falls by 10%, and the risk of diabetes is cut by half.

Around 85% of children with congenital heart lesions survive into adult life. Cardiologists qualifying nowadays rarely have been trained to cope with adults with corrected congenital heart disease, say two editorials in Heart (1997;78:12-5). The clinical problems posed may be formidable, especially in pregnancy. Unfortunately, says the journal, the risks of pregnancy are difficult to assess because there is no dataset and so evidence based cardiology cannot be practised.

In the past 30 years in industrialised countries the incidence of asthma has risen substantially, and the same is true of atopic dermatitis (British Journal of Dermatology 1997;137:1-8). One factor is relevant to both conditions: the epidemic of infestation with house dust mites. Measures to control the mite allergens—reducing humidity, using synthetic bedding covers, and using chemical warfare against the mites—should help in both conditions.

A debate article in Annals of …

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