Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 09 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2296

A 71 year old African-American woman has shown that it’s never too late to start exercising. With a 10 year history of type 2 diabetes, her previous history included stroke, valve prolapse, and hip replacement. A supervised 12 week training programme of aerobic exercise involving three 30 minute episodes of exercise a week resulted in a reduction of five risk factors for cardiorespiratory disease: body fat, fasting glucose, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and sedentary lifestyle. Her serum C-reactive protein and HbA1c levels also fell (Clinical Diabetes 2009;27:88-90, doi:10.2337/diaclin.27.2.88).

Thyroid dysfunction is common in older people, and free triiodothyronine in particular seems to be a useful indication of prognosis in hospitalised older patients. Three quarters of patients admitted to a geriatric unit showed alterations in thyroid function tests, and serum free triiodothyronine concentrations proved a powerful predictor for death during the hospital admission— they were significantly and negatively related to mortality (Clinical Endocrinology 2009;70:961-7, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2008.03421.x).

The side of the road that traffic travels on …

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