BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7475.1194 (Published 11 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1194

Mexico has reported a progressive increase in multiple sclerosis (MS) over the past 20 years. A study of 82 patients with relapsingremitting multiple sclerosis found that 13 of 15 patients with relapse had Varicella zoster viral DNA in the peripheral mononuclear cells, but all 67 patients who were tested in remission were negative. Serum antibodies to the virus were similar in the groups. It's still unclear whether the virus participates in the pathogenesis or is an epiphenomenon of relapsing multiple sclerosis (Archives of Neurology 2004;61: 529-32).

Inequalities in health are often linked to differences in education, but a study from rural China shows that education serves as a more powerful mediator among women than men. Gender differences in health inequalities might be explained by the differences in work conditions, income, lifestyles, and use of healthcare services. The authors say that the education related differences they identified remained significant after income and occupation effects were controlled for, which suggests an independent effect of education, probably through health related behaviours (American Journal of Public Health 2004;94: 1713-6).

Computer technology skills among Tanzanian medical students are low, but …

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