Ann Intern Med 6 Feb 2007

I write from a part of England where an academic department managed to get funds to investigate obstructive sleep apnoea long before it became a fashionable diagnosis, so lots of our patients have had polysomnography and enjoy the nocturnal pleasures of continuous positive airway pressure. Despite an ever-growing body of evidence of benefit, this treatment is frowned upon by funding authorities whenever there is a financial crisis – i.e. always. But they can take some comfort from this study, which shows that when there is a good history, polysomnography can be dispensed with: though CPAP is still needed.

167 Like most doctors of my acquaintance, I drink alcohol most evenings. Heavens, I might even exceed 14 drinks a week and thus be a risky drinker by the standards of this study, which looked at the effect of a brief intervention (half an hour of “motivational counselling