Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva

Electronic DTB, eBNF/eMeReC

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:614

Minerva was surprised to see a paper on asthma trends in a journal on infectious diseases (Eurosurveillance 1999;4:21-4). The editors explain, however, that respiratory virusestrigger asthma in susceptible individuals, making asthma research fair game for journals covering surveillance of infectious disease. Look out for future papers on other quasi infectious diseases like peptic ulcer(Helicobacter pylori), Kaposi's sarcoma (herpesvirus 8), and pityriasis rosea (herpesvirus 7).

Pregnant women are glad that HIV testing is available but don't necessarily want it for themselves (AIDS Care 1999;11:21-9). A qualitative study of 29Scottish women attending routine antenatal appointments found that the women were happy to be offered the test but only eight of them wanted it. The women felt that testing would be easier to accept if it was part of the routine antenatal work up and not a voluntary addition for people who thought they were at risk.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Can they make oesophageal varices bleed too? A case-control study of 200patients with cirrhosis of the liver suggests that they might (Gut 1999;44:270-3). Subjects with bleeding oesophageal varices were more than twice as likely to have taken non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs …

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