Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort studyBMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7123.1641 (Published 20 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1641
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Over the years I have found an effective method of educating my patients is to make a copy of the first page of selected journal articles regarding topics which I feel are important to their health.
This has proven to be a useful way to motivate patients to make changes in their lifestyle, or to accept new therapies. There is something about seeing a recommendation in writing with the title of the journal at the top of the page that seems to motivate patients better than just the doctor's word.
I recently made a copy of Dr. George Smith's article on "sex and death", and presented a copy to several of my married female patients for their opinion as to it's usefulness.
I was caught completely off guard by their response. I was informed in no uncertain terms that if their husbands were ever made aware of this article or given a copy, I would have a very unhappy patient on my hands.
I have since taken a random survey of several more married female patients and hospital employees, and have found almost unanimous agreement with the sentiments of my initial group of patients. Several individuals felt this information might even lead to a deterioration in their marital relationship.
Hence, although this article presents some very interesting statistical data, it may not have a lot of practical significance in the real world, at least in one area of rural USA.
Gary W. Berger, M.D.
Competing interests: No competing interests