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Georg Röggla

The BMJ Today: The diesel scandal and breast cancer

13 Oct, 15 | by BMJ

volkswagen• Paul Wilkinson and Andy Haines call for consequences to the Volkswagen diesel scandal in an editorial. Perhaps the lesson from the Volkswagen episode is not just whether manufacturers will comply with the legislation aimed at cleaning an inherently polluting fuel source. It may be time for society to commit to a decisive break with fossil fuel combustion. more…

Georg Röggla: Refugees and civil society

7 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

georg_rogglaThe migration crisis has reached Central Europe.

About 10 000 migrants arrived in Vienna within a few hours on Saturday, most of them on their way to Germany.

The situation is dramatic: Four children, including a baby girl, were among 71 migrants found suffocated in a truck on a highway just outside Vienna last week. more…

The BMJ Today: Chillies and mortality, informed consent, and healthcare for Syrian refugees

5 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

chillis_heart_feature• Is chilli good for your health?

Jun Lv and colleagues report a large cohort study assessing the associations between the regular consumption of spicy foods and total and cause specific mortality. They found that the habitual consumption of spicy foods was inversely associated with total and certain cause specific mortality (cancer, ischemic heart diseases, and respiratory diseases), independent of other risk factors of death.

• In an accompanying editorial, Nita G Forouhi asks should people eat spicy food. She answers herself: “It is too early to say, but the debate and the research interest are certainly hotting up.” more…

Georg Röggla: The political culture on refugees has tilted

8 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

David Berger and Kamran Abbasi wrote an important editorial about refugees, saying that it is time for moral leadership from Western democracies.

I cross the border between Italy and Austria by train every weekend. Italian, German, and Austrian police catch at least ten, and sometimes many more, migrants heading northwards out of each train. I have talked to many policemen about this matter and all agree that the police can’t solve migration related issues. But the most troubling issue is that I have nearly never seen any solidarity or even pity and sympathy from other passengers with these refugees. Quite on the contrary, they do everything to help the police.

I remember the time after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 well. According to UNHCR more than 100,000 refugees fled to Austria and were welcome. Many people put up refugees in their houses. The number of refugees in Austria is much smaller now. The country is much wealthier but the political culture has tilted.

The BMJ editorial on refugees couldn’t be more topical.

Georg Röggla is an associate editor with the BMJ.

The BMJ Today: Readmission rates and a second look at torture

10 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

georg_rogglaReadmission rates to hospitals are often used as markers for quality of care, although a consistent link between readmissions and quality has not been established.

Leora I Horwitz and colleagues conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study from 4651 US acute care hospitals. They found that standardised readmission rates are lowest in the lowest volume hospitals. This is highly interesting, and quite the opposite of the typical association of greater hospital volume with better outcomes. more…

The BMJ Today: Evacuation of children in World War II

7 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

georg_rogglaThe evacuation of civilians has been performed in many countries in times of war. The evacuation of civilians in Britain immediately after the outbreak of the Second World War was designed to save children from the risks associated with aerial bombing of cities by moving them to areas thought to be less at risk. Operation Pied Piper, which began on 1 September 1939, officially relocated more than 3.5 million people.

In Germany there was no large scale evacuation of civilians as there was in Britain. The German term used for the evacuation of children was Kinderlandverschickung, to avoid the term evacuation. more…

The BMJ Today: Mediterranean diets and infant mortality

3 Dec, 14 | by BMJ Group

georg_rogglaThe Nurses ’Health Studies are long term epidemiological studies conducted on women’s health. They are among the largest investigations into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women ever conducted. Marta Crous-Bou and co-workers have published a new and interesting finding from it. Greater adherence to Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with longer leukocyte telomere length, a marker of biological aging. These results further support the health benefits of adherence to Mediterranean diet.


The BMJ Today: Management of COPD

23 Sep, 14 | by BMJ

georg_roegglaChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common diseases a GP has to manage in their daily routine. The BMJ has recently set a focus on COPD management.

Shawn D Aaron draws attention to the fact that patients with COPD are prone to acute respiratory exacerbations, with a possible detrimental effect on patients’ health status, in a state of the art review. Initial treatment is unsuccessful in about a quarter off all patients. The author addresses the benefits and many limitations of established COPD therapies. more…

The BMJ Today: Tranexamic acid and inferring significance of treatment effects

19 Aug, 14 | by BMJ

georg_roegglaTranexamic acid is a synthetic analog of the amino acid lysine. It is used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss during surgery and in various other medical conditions. An older analogue, epsilon aminocaproic acid, was temporarily withdrawn worldwide in 2007 after studies suggested that its use increased the risk of complications or death. Tranexamic acid, on the contrary, is considered to be a very promising drug. It is inexpensive and has been included in the WHO list of essential medicines.

Jashvant Poeran and colleagues have evaluated the effectiveness and safety of perioperative tranexamic acid use in patients undergoing total hip or knee arthroplasty in the United States in a large retrospective cohort study, which includes 872 416 patients. They report that tranexamic acid was effective in reducing the need for blood transfusions, while not increasing the risk of complications, including thromboembolic events and renal failure. more…

The BMJ Today: Explaining telomeres

15 Jul, 14 | by BMJ

georg_roegglaTelomeres are getting a lot of attention at the moment. At the 64th Nobel laureate meeting in Lindau two weeks ago, Elizabeth Blackburn (who won the 2009 Nobel prize in medicine) drew my attention to the role of telomeres in the cellular aging process. more…

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