Bmj Usa: Minerva


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E235

From BMJ USA 2003;June:342

Minerva does a lot of housework (yes, even goddesses have to clean the toilet), so she immediately noticed the paper “unintentional fatal injuries arising from unpaid work at home,” thinking it would be something to do with bleach or terrible accidents while making beds. In fact the Australian study of coroners' reports shows that deaths at home are mostly caused by poorly braced ladders, inadequately jacked up cars, and an ignorance of electrical circuitry (Injury Prevention 2003;9:15–19). Casualties are nearly all men.

Three quarters of US men aged over 50 years have been screened for prostate cancer with a test for prostate specific antigen, according to a national telephone survey of nearly 50 000 men (JAMA 2003;289:1414–1420). Fewer (63%) have been screened for colorectal cancer. The difference is at serious odds with the evidence of benefit, which is practically non-existent for the prostate screening test, say the authors.

In total 186 studies have looked at smiling in men and women. A lengthy meta-analysis confirms that in general women smile more than men, but not much (Psychological Bulletin 2003;129:305–334). The extent of the difference reported depends on many things, including age (the difference peaks in …

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