In brief

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 23 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2112

Secondary diagnoses of HIV see big rise: The number of cases of HIV patients being treated where the infection was the primary diagnosis in England rose by 18% from 4209 in 2003-04 to 5618 in 2013-14, while secondary diagnoses rose by 301%, from 4149 to 24 252, show figures from England’s Health and Social Care Information Centre. The charity Positively UK said that it was a challenge to get appropriate treatment for people with HIV and to educate doctors about how to treat conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease with drugs that did not interfere with anti-HIV drugs.

Access to green space reduces mental health inequality: An analysis of data from 21 294 urban residents from 34 nations recorded in the 2012 European Quality of Life Survey has found that socioeconomic inequality in mental wellbeing was 40% less among respondents who had good access to green space than among those with poor access. The study found that no other neighbourhood characteristics, such as access to public transport, banks, and cultural services, were associated with narrower inequality.1 The study’s leader, Rich Mitchell of the University of Glasgow, said, “Our research supports the idea that environments could play a part in reducing inequalities in health, either in tandem with other social policies or independently.”

Genes may have role in people’s attractiveness to mosquitoes: Genetic control of body odour may influence how likely people are to be bitten by mosquitoes, research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has found.2 The researchers evaluated the response of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to odours from the hands of 18 pairs of identical and 19 pairs of non-identical female twins. They found that identical twin pairs were more similar in attractiveness to mosquitoes than non-identical twin pairs. The results could help researchers find new ways to repel mosquitoes, said the study.

US mothers have babies too close together, says CDC: The typical time between pregnancies in US women is about 2.5 years, but nearly a third of women space their children too closely together, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.3 The study analysed birth certificates of babies born to more than 1.7 million mothers of all ages who had a second or higher singleton birth in 2011. It found that about 30% of women who had had a child became pregnant again within 18 months, and just 21% had an interval of 60 months or more. The inter-pregnancy interval rose with age and was lowest among non-Hispanic white women. Research has shown that intervals of less than 18 months and those of 60 months or more were associated with higher risks of adverse health outcomes.

MMR is not linked to autism, large study confirms: The misplaced fear that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders in younger siblings of children who have such a disorder may deter some parents from having their younger children vaccinated against MMR, say US researchers. But their study of nearly 95 000 children, reported in JAMA,4 found that after two doses of the vaccine the adjusted relative risk of an autism spectrum disorder at age 5 years among children with an older sibling with such a disorder was 0.56 (95% confidence interval 0.31 to 1.01), when compared with unvaccinated children, while the risk among children whose older siblings did not have such a disorder was 1.12 (0.78 to 1.59).


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2112


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