Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 21 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1030

A considerable number of young women who are sexually active have Escherichia coli in their urine—about 5%, according to data in New England Journal of Medicine (2000;343:992-7). In most of them, this asymptomatic bacteriuria is transient, and it is associated with the same exposures as symptomatic urinary tract infection—namely, sexual intercourse and use of a diaphragm with spermicide. Eight per cent of asymptomatic episodes became symptomatic infections, usually within a week. The next step, say the authors, is to explore what turns a benign, transient invasion into a full blown infection.

Being knocked out is one cause of post-traumatic amnesia. A neurologist from London writes that fear of impending death is another (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2000;69:562-7). His memory of a near miss on the motorway was confined to a crystal clear image of a small red Honda skidding towards him, its front seat passenger in a flowery hat, and a black and white furry toy dangling in the window. Everything else went blank, until he found himself staring at the mud on the central reservation through an open car door and wondering how he would clean up his shoes if he stepped in it.

In the 11 years between 1982 and 1993 death rates from coronary heart disease fell by over 20% in New Zealand (Circulation 2000;102:1511-6). Researchers from …

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