BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7444.904 (Published 08 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:904

Caffeine consumption can put your blood pressure up acutely, but if you're drinking coffee on a daily basis, is this likely to be clinically significant? Individual differences in tolerance were investigated in a randomised controlled trial conducted over four weeks. Although raised systolic and diastolic response to the final caffeine challenge was completely lost in half the participants, the other half showed no loss of response, despite moderately high levels of daily intake beforehand (Hypertension 2004; 43: 760-5).

Minerva, in common with most doctors, has at times tried to convince patients to make lifestyle changes. But how many of us are actually taught how to do it properly? A study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2004; 79: 327-31) shows that teaching specific skills, such as patient centred motivational interviewing, to medical students enhances both knowledge and confidence about counselling patients, which could stand the students in good stead whatever career path they eventually take.

Between 1% and 4% of the populations of developed nations are diagnosed as having a learning disability. With the whole population enjoying an increased life expectancy, it's time to recognise a greater capacity of people with learning disabilities to enjoy a longer and more fulfilled life. A writer in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (2004;46: 219) says …

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