Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 17 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1506

Apparently it's not the little things that cause problems. Heartburn is one of those symptoms that gets worse when people are under stress and, as shown by a study in Psychosomatic Medicine (2004;66: 426-34), the severity of heartburn seems to be most responsive to a major life event sometime during the previous six months, not an accumulation of minor stressors or mood fluctuations. Possible mechanisms include the increased level and frequency of acid in the oesophagus and the inhibition of gastric emptying of acid.

There's a new culinary show on Canadian television—an eight part series cooked up by an orthopaedic surgeon, with each episode featuring a specialist surgeon preparing two gourmet meat dishes. It's called “Close to the Bone” and claims to provide a blend of cooking, surgery, and lessons in human anatomy. The otolaryngologist offers up pig snout and calf's tongue; the hand surgeon prepares stuffed pig's trotter; the urologist makes lamb's kidney and deep-fried bull's testicles (CMAJ 2004;170: 1825).

Patients are often asked to stop taking aspirin a week or so before cardiac surgery because it's assumed that by doing so they will bleed less during the procedure. But is this necessary? A Japanese team reporting the results of their …

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