Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters “Informed choice” in a time of too much medicine

Authors’ reply to Timms and Bird

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 15 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4362
  1. Minna Johansson, PhD student1,
  2. Karsten Juhl Jørgensen, senior researcher, Nordic Cochrane Centre2,
  3. Linn Getz, professor3,
  4. Ray Moynihan, senior research fellow4
  1. 1University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  2. 2Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  4. 4Bond University, Australia
  1. minna.johansson{at}

We endorse Timms and Bird’s preference for lifestyle adjustments as the first issues to discuss over “active treatment.”1 2 However, GPs often don’t have enough time, making it attractive to resort to medicalisation. Few patients succeed in lowering blood pressure or blood lipids below recommended values through lifestyle changes, at least in the longer term.

We’re glad that Dr Timms has not experienced stigmatisation …

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