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Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 16 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:676

Yet another trial that set out to find a drug to prevent recurrent vasovagal faints reports a sad failure. Metoprolol, a β blocker, proved no better than placebo and joins the ranks of salt, fluids, fludrocortisone, and paroxetine in making no difference to the study population of adults who faint on a regular basis (Circulation 2006;113: 1164-70).

Having a history of autoimmune disease is associated with a 45% increase in risk for schizophrenia. In a large Danish epidemiological study, nine autoimmune disorders had higher prevalence among patients with schizophrenia, and 12 autoimmune diseases had higher prevalence among the parents of those with schizophrenia. Thyrotoxicosis, coeliac disease, acquired haemolytic anaemia, interstitial cystitis, and Sjogren's syndrome had higher prevalence among both patients and relatives (American Journal of Psychiatry 2006;163: 521-8).

It's not just exclusive breast feeding that matters in improving neonatal mortality, but early initiation. According to a study in Pediatrics (, 16% of neonatal deaths worldwide could be prevented if breast feeding began on day 1 of life, and 22% if it were started within the first hour. The analysis is based on nearly 11 000 breastfed babies in Ghana born in 2003-4 who survived to day 2.

Two years is the standard …

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