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Jottings . . .
  1. THE EDITORS

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    One study is rarely definitive, and we accumulate pieces of the puzzle of benefits and harms. In this issue is an interesting pair of articles on long acting β agonists. The first study shows an advantage of self titration with a combination long acting β agonist and inhaled corticosteroid—a revolutionary approach. A second shows possible harms from long acting β agonists. Is it the specific β agonist? Will the combination with corticosteroids prevent the possible harmful effects? The trials answer many questions but raise new uncertainties that we must accept as part of the background of practice. Meanwhile some accepted "truths" have been found wanting: humidifiers for croup and (most) lifestyle changes for reflux do not fare well.

    If you are interested in a particular topic, the back issues of the EBM journal now form a superb summary of key studies in the last 6 years. If you go to EBM online you can browse by topic. For example, going to "Cardiovascular/Hypertension" brings up 43 articles on hypertension since 2000, discussing, for example, β blockers, the ALLHAT and ASCOT trials, lifestyle changes, and self monitoring.

    Finally, as of this issue we are trying to expand on the detail provided for the description of interventions. Because many of these are longer than we can accommodate in the paper version they will generally be provided as "web extras"—so watch out for this and get the extra details online.

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