Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7246.1416 (Published 20 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1416

Measurement of the maximum oxygen consumption during exercise is a good test of an individual's physical fitness. Boys have a slightly higher maximum rate than do girls, even when account is taken of body weight (Chest 2000;117:619-20). The magnitude of the difference rises substantially after puberty, but the reason for this change is unclear.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known to have several undesirable effects on the kidneys because they inhibit the synthesis of renal prostaglandins. The clinical importance of this action has now been estimated by a case-control study of 1799 patients aged 65 or more who had developed renal failure (American Journal of Epidemiology 2000;151:488-96). The proportion using NSAIDs was 18%, compared with 11% of 9899 controls. So the link is uncommon, but it is nevertheless important.

Hominids live much longer than other primates, and geneticists believe that relatively few mutations probably account for this increase in longevity in the space of just a few million years. One set of genes that seems to play an important part is the variants of the apolipoprotein E (Annals of Medicine 2000;32:118-27). The E4 allele is associated with decreased longevity for several reasons, including its links with Alzheimer's disease and with high serum cholesterol concentrations. The other alleles …

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