MinervaBMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7045.1552 (Published 15 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1552
Despite improvements in the detection and treatment of hypertension there is no evidence of a decline in its prevalence. Analysis of data from the Framingham study after 36 year follow up supports current estimates that one in four adults in the United States has hypertension and suggests that 78% of the hypertension in men and 65% in women is directly attributed to obesity (New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334:1571-6). Primary prevention is clearly the way forward, with a strong emphasis on weight control among young and middle aged adults.
Childhood leukaemia occurs in clusters, provoking a never ending flow of hypotheses about causation, some of which cause considerable public anxiety. E G Knox and colleagues have been working in this area for many years, and their latest paper appeared in the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health” (1996;50:313-9). It concludes that “we now know that the clusters exist and that there must be at least one class of local environmental hazard.” The next task is to identify it with reasonable certainty.
The growing number of “child soldiers” recruited, forcibly or otherwise, to fight in armed conflicts throughout the world is a cause for concern. But the psychological effects of this experience are unpredictable (Medicine, Conflict and Survival 1996;12:114-25). Some of the children see themselves, …