Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4295

History may be being rewritten, or at least reviewed. The conventional wisdom that King George III suffered from acute porphyria has been challenged by the Institute for Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham. A review of the king’s extensive medical records suggests that originators of the porphyria theory were highly selective in their reporting and analysis of his signs and symptoms, and that the porphyria diagnosis cannot be sustained. Bipolar disorder now seems to be the preferred diagnosis (Clinical Medicine 2011;11:261-4).

The theory that poor sleep is associated with cardiovascular function in adults seems not to apply to children, even though earlier research suggested that it did. Healthy 8 year olds without sleep disordered breathing provided data on ambulatory blood pressure and cardiovascular reactivity, and their sleep patterns were recorded. Neither quantity nor quality of sleep was related to the variables measured, after accounting for sex, age, height, …

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