BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1354 (Published 02 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1354

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A study of acupuncture in children with persistent allergic rhinitis shows that active acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture at reducing symptom scores and increasing the number of symptom-free days. The groups were similar, however, in relief medication scores and eosinophil counts and in side effects, which were self-limiting. The needles may have helped reduce runny noses, but just thinking about them brings tears to Minerva's eyes (Pediatrics 2004;114: 1242-7).

For a thought-provoking personal view on European health policy from a Polish health minister, see http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph_overview/Documents/refl/ev20041015_co_014_en.pdf Referring to the discussion document “Enabling good health for all,” the minister comments: “I do not like ‘for all’ for two reasons. First, it is unrealistic. It is impossible to offer good health for all citizens of Europe, because some of them do not want good health, they simply need to be ill to play their social roles… The second reason for my dislike of [the] phrase is its close relation to communistic slogan.”

What's an appropriate starting dose of inhaled steroids for adults with asthma? The results of a systematic review in Thorax (2004;59: 1041-5) indicate that starting with a moderate dose (400-800 µg/day of beclomethasone) has equivalent …

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