BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7057.636 (Published 07 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:636

Finasteride, a 5(alpha) reductase inhibitor that had proved effective in earlier trials, was found to be no better than placebo in a study of treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia in 1229 men in the United States (New England Journal of Medicine 1996;335:533-9). By contrast, the (alpha) adrenergic antagonist terazosin improved both symptoms and urinary flow rates. Commenting on these results in an editorial (pp 586-7), the journal suggests that finasteride may be more effective in men with substantial enlargement of their glands, but it reminds doctors to consider the other options, which include no treatment at all and surgery.

Tests on children with learning problems have shown that in some an impaired discrimination between similar speech sounds originated in the auditory pathway before conscious perception, says a report in “Science” (1996;273:971-3). This defect can be identified at an early age, and impaired perception of speech sounds can be improved by training. The hope is that eventually it may be possible to identify and treat potential learning problems before they occur.

A study of 353 180 women and 126 500 men who had never smoked (Circulation 1996;94:622-8) showed that, among men who had never smoked, mortality from coronary heart disease was 22% higher in …

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