Minerva Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7269.1166 (Published 04 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1166

The evidence supporting the use of sodium cromoglicate in children with mild to moderate asthma is old, mediocre, and not very convincing, write systematic reviewers from the Netherlands (Thorax 2000;55: 913-20). The studies they found were a mixed bag that clearly suffered from publication bias, making sodium cromoglicate look better in theory than it is in practice. Though the drug has been used for decades, its value remains unproved.

Boys are at a distinct disadvantage around the time of birth: they are more likely than girls to be born prematurely, and then more likely than girls to die (Archives of Diseases in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2000;83:F182-5). A retrospective look at the notes of over 6000 very premature babies born in the United States between 1991 and 1993 showed that the mortality for boys was 22%, compared with 15% for girls. Researchers still have no idea what it is about girls that makes them stronger.

George W Bush and Al Gore will be aware that the winner of the presidential race will inherit a legacy of over 44 million Americans without health insurance. The growth of managed care during the 1990s has not improved the health disadvantage of this substantial minority and may have made it worse, according …

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