* If you thought it was just your lungs suffering from your smoking, you might have to add bones to your list. Researchers found that the nicotine in tobacco may be responsible for poor bone grafts because it stopped vascular growth. People about to undergo a bone graft should stop smoking beforehand (Spine, 1995; 20: 198-202).
* Many drugs contain sodium, but this is not always revealed on package inserts or in drug reference books. The Food and Drug Administration in America has proposed making compulsory any sodium content, as people on sodium restricted diets could be taking it inadvertently.
* About 10 per cent of people who had laser surgery to correct their myopia (short sightedness) were very disappointed with the results. Those with extreme myopia fared worse than those with a moderate condition, and most complained of glare and distortion in the early months after surgery (Brit J Ophthalm, 1995; 79: 881-7).
* So many factors influence a blood pressure reading, but one not considered before is the variation between the arms. One doctor from City General Hospital in Staffordshire, England, discovered a variation of more than 8 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure between the two arms of nearly a quarter of his patients. In one case, the difference was 20 mm Hg. He suggests that blood pressure should be measured by using both arms (JAMA, November 1, 1995).