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BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 15 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1464

Four years on and the telltale signs are there. Analysis of the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children finds that maternal anxiety before birth predicts behavioural and emotional problems in both boys and girls at age 4 years. The most impressive finding was that high levels of anxiety in late pregnancy were associated with hyperactivity and inattention in boys. The authors say this suggests that a direct causal mechanism operates in the antenatal period (British Journal of Psychiatry 2002;180:502-8).

A study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology (2002;55:435-9) set out to evaluate the use of cervicovaginal lavage with a self sampling device as part of cervical cancer screening. Of the 56 women in the study, 88% said it was acceptable, but the concordance rate between the cytology results in a smear and lavage by doctor and patient was only 54% and 41%. Concordance between high risk human papillomavirus testing and lavage was better, at 93% and 78%. Cervical smears remain the best option.

Tea garden workers of Assam seem remarkably prone to high blood pressure. The prevalence among 1015 men and women sampled in one study was a staggering 60.8%. Increasing age, being female, the consumption of the …

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