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BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1398

If someone gave you $10 to complete an automated telephone survey about your sexual behaviour, would you? And what if they paid you $40 to send a urine specimen by post for testing for sexually transmitted diseases? A pilot study in the United States found that 86% of randomly selected citizens were more than happy to comply. The new approach may be the most feasible method of estimating infection prevalences in a population (Sexually Transmitted Diseases2005;81: 236-8). It's also good to know that no specimens were lost in transit.

Babies who are exclusively breast fed are protected from hypertension later in life to an extent that is similar to that afforded by salt restriction and physical activity in adult life. The analysis of the European youth heart study, which included more than 2000 schoolchildren, not only showed that children who were breast fed had lower blood pressure but also found a dose-response relation and independence of confounding factors—prompting the authors to suggest a causal association (Archives of Disease in Childhood!2005;90: 582-8)

Osteoporosis, metastases, myeloma, and aggressive vertebral haemangioma can all cause vertebral body collapse and spinal pain. A review in Acta Radiologica (2005;46: 256-68) suggests that the main treatment of choice for these conditions, especially in elderly patients who are not candidates for surgery, will soon …

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