BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6983.884 (Published 01 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:884

Patients in Australia who suffered near fatal attacks of asthma were assessed with the general health questionnaire and the illness behaviour questionnaire. The report in Thorax (1995;50:254-9) says that 43% of the 77 patients scored 5 or higher on the general health questionnaire, and 57% scored more than 3 out of 5 on the denial scale of the illness behaviour questionnaire. High levels of denial in patients with asthma may be life threatening, says the report, which calls for greater attention to be given to their psychiatric morbidity.

Infant botulism is rare in Britain, but it may be underdiagnosed (“Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology” 1995;37:274-8). The clinical features are weakness, poor feeding, and constipation in a child under the age of 1 year. If intensive care facilities are available the prognosis is excellent; in their absence the disease is fatal. The diagnosis should be considered in any infant with acute hypotonia and areflexia.

Attempts in the United States to reduce sexual risk taking behaviour among schoolchildren are having some effect. The youth risk behaviour surveillance system found in 1991 that 54.6% of boys and 38% of girls reported using a condom at …

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