BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6926.484 (Published 12 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:484

Women who eat a lot of fish and other seafood have heavier (by 200 g) and longer (by 1 cm) babies than those who do not (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 1994;47:436-40). The study in the Faeroe Islands that came up with these results was stimulated by the hypothesis that seafood, which is rich in long chain n-3 fatty acids, might prolong the duration of pregnancy by an effect on prostaglandins and might increase fetal growth by improving placental blood flow. More research is planned.

Magnetic resonance imaging allows clinicians to make repeated objective assessments of the progression of the lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis, and some trials of treatment have used this measure as an end point. New treatments such as interferon are opening up encouraging possibilities. Reviews in the “Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry” (1994;57:3-6) and the “Lancet” (1994;343:275-8) are agreed, however, that the gold standard will remain clinical disability - which is what matters to the patient.

Outcome measures are, indeed, being examined more critically in most branches of medicine, and one of the objectives of the new Journal of Medical Screening (1994;1:1-2) is to emphasise the “overriding importance that medical screening is intended to benefit the individuals being screened” and …

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