Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 24 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d426

Les antibiotiques, c’est pas automatique” was the title of a campaign launched in France in 2002 designed to tackle the overprescribing of antibiotics. It has been repeated every winter since. But 10 years on, France remains one of Europe’s biggest consumers of antibiotics. One reason, says a clinician, is that doctors are afraid they will lose patients and so yield to pressure from them to prescribe the drugs. Another cites lazy thinking: “this may not do the patient any good, but it certainly won’t hurt him” (Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2011;89:8-9, doi:10.2471/BLT.11.030111).

Shift working is a recognised risk factor for breast cancer, and this link has been attributed to its disruptive effects on circadian rhythms and sleep deprivation at night. Now an analysis in Chronobiology International reports that exposure to “light at night” in the sleeping environment is significantly associated with breast cancer risk, not just exposure to …

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