BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7042.1370 (Published 25 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1370

Patients having major surgery often become mildly hypothermic, and this may have some advantages since it reduces tissue needs for oxygen. Research in Austria has now shown, however, that keeping patients warm during colorectal surgery substantially reduces the incidence of wound infections (New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334:1209-15). The skin wounds healed quicker in the patients who were warmed, and overall they spent 2.6 days less in hospital.

Staying with cancer of the colon, research from Norway reported in the “British Journal of Cancer” (1996;73:1134-40) has provided further evidence that physical exercise may protect against the development of this type of cancer. A follow up of 53 000 men and 28 000 women showed that exercise equivalent to walking or cycling for four hours a week decreased the risk in women of all ages and in men over the age of 44.

The stress at work most likely to lead to death from heart disease is lack of control (American Journal of Public Health 1996;86:324-31). Research in Sweden has found that men who had no authority to take decisions had a relative risk of death that was nearly double that in the privileged minority who were protected by being in occupations with high control.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have a reputation for high rates of unpleasant and sometimes …

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