Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 30 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:340

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Elderly people who fall over at home tend to fall repeatedly. A randomised controlled trial shows that detailed assessment by doctors and occupational therapists can cut the rate of further falls by over a half (Lancet 1999;353:93-7 Researchers randomised patients attending an accident and emergency department to standard care or a battery of tests of their balance, mental state, sight, and function at home. Patients tested and treated fell less often over the 12 month follow up period than controls and had fewer hospital admissions. Prevention strategies like this should be introduced into routine practice, say the authors.

Organic vegetables have recently gained a reputation for improving sperm counts in the men who grow them. Sadly, the rumour isn't true, according to a study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine(1999;56:139-44 Researchers compared sperm samples from traditional and organic Danish farmers and found no material differences. Sperm count, sperm concentration, chromatin structure, and motility were all comparable. There are plenty of good reasons to farm without pesticides, but improving fertility doesn't seem to be one of them.

Fidgeting and staying on your feet may be linked to keeping slim (Science1999;283;212-4). Sixteen volunteers agreed to overeat by …

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