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BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7499.1045 (Published 05 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1045
  1. Alison Tonks, associate editor (atonks@bmj.com)

    Aortic wall thickening could explain the link between low birth weight and heart disease

    Credit: LANCET

    When researchers measured the thickness of the aortic wall in 50 newborn babies, they found that the 25 smallest babies had thicker walled aortas than the 25 largest (maximum thickness 300 µm/kg v 199 µm/kg, P < 0.0001). Since the thickness of arterial walls is an early marker for atherosclerosis, the authors think they have found part of the mechanism behind the well known association between low birth weight and adult heart disease. All the babies were term singletons who were healthy after birth. Half of them had intrauterine growth restriction with a birth weight in the lowest 10th and the other half had normal or high birth weight (between the 50th to 90th centiles). The difference between the groups' maximum wall thickness was independent of maternal age, maternal smoking, and babies' sex.

    Lancet 2005;365:7: 1484-6

    A single computed tomogram can rule out pulmonary embolus

    A single contrast enhanced computed tomogram of the chest can safely rule out pulmonary embolism in most patients, say a team …

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