Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 31 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:506

One of two general practitioner representatives on the Caldicott Commission (which reported on issues of patient confidentiality in England) says he has opted out of having his medical records included in the common health record (British Journal of General Practice 2006;56: 640). Despite all he has heard, he remains sufficiently concerned about the confidentiality of computerised medical records not to give consent. He may be alone in doing so. Last year he received a routine mailing about the common record, offering him the opportunity of opting out but “cleverly disguised” as junk mail, which may account, he says, for his failing to meet anyone else who has taken the same decision.

Although it's commonly thought that long term use of hormone replacement therapy benefits brain function, studies show inconsistent results. A six year single blinded follow-up study of 60 postmenopausal women who took oestrogen regularly, irregularly, or never says that long term use didn't influence cognition either way (Neurology 2006;67: 706-9). The cognitive function of all participants was well maintained.

Moving from full time paid work to full retirement seems to be more of a process than an event. An American study …

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