BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7105.438 (Published 16 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:438

The currently accepted treatment for anyone suspected of having had an acute myocardial infarction is an immediate dose of 160 mg of aspirin. Yet a study in Rhode Island (Annals of Internal Medicine 1997;127:126-9) found that only 253 of 463 patients seen in the emergency room were given aspirin, and in half of those to whom it was given the delay was more than an hour.

Among the four high mortality cancers (lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate) colorectal cancer is the only one that has become substantially more curable in the past 25 years as a result of better detection. So Minerva was depressed to read yet another account (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 1997;51:453-8) of a colonoscopy screening programme in relatives of patients with cancer of the colon in which only 30% of those offered testing accepted the invitation. Out of 233 relatives screened, two had cancers and 24 had adenomatous polyps.

A controlled trial in Italy of the use of intramuscular immune serum globulin in sex partners of patients with hepatitis C is reported in Archives of Internal Medicine (1997;157:1537-44). Only one of the 450 given the active treatment seroconverted, as against six given the placebo, in whom sequence homology studies provided strong evidence of sexual transmission.

Mortality in England and …

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