Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39367.622060.BD1 (Published 18 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:832

Reports by the media of the suicide of a celebrity may have led to an increase in people killing themselves, according to a Taiwanese study in the International Journal of Epidemiology (2007 Sep 28 doi: 10.1093/ije/dym196). The number of suicides increased in the four weeks after the media reported the death of a television actor (relative risk 1.17, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.31). The relative risk was greater among men (1.30, 1.14 to 1.50) and for people using the same method (hanging) as the actor (1.51, 1.25 to 1.83).

Two groups of scientists have independently discovered that the content of nitric oxide rapidly decreases in bank (stored) blood, which may reduce the flow of blood in some people (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2007 Oct 11 doi: 10.1073/pnas.0707958104 and doi: 10.1073/pnas.0708160104). A nitric oxide signal carried by haemoglobin induces vascular relaxation where necessary, but with low concentrations of nitric oxide this is unlikely to happen, increasing the risk …

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