BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7126.240 (Published 17 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:240

Data from the Framingham heart study, which began in 1948, have shown that in men aged 45-65 the risk of ischaemic stroke was lowest in those who ate the most fat (JAMA 1997;278:2145-50). An editorial in the same issue uses these data to support the advisability of the Mediterranean diet, which has high levels of monounsaturated fat, notably olive oil. Olive oil does not increase the serum cholesterol concentration and so does not increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Genetic counselling should be offered to couples when one of their children is found to have cystic fibrosis, but this does not always achieve its aim of preventing them having further affected children. An analysis of 42 families with two children with the disease (Archives of Disease in Childhood 1997;97:501-3) found that in 10 cases no offer of prenatal diagnosis had been made; in 24 cases the offer had been declined; and in eight cases the couples had accepted prenatal diagnosis but had decided against termination. Part of the problem seems to have been poor communication between the doctors who should be providing the advice.

Danish merchant ships commonly employ both sexes as sailors, navigation officers, and radio operators. Follow up of 6788 women seafarers (Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1998;55:49-51) found that those in traditionally male jobs had a far higher mortality than women working in the ships’ galleys. …

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