MinervaBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7079.528 (Published 15 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:528
As mortality from coronary heart disease has declined in many Western countries admissions to hospital for heart failure have risen (European Heart Journal 1997;18:208-25). Among the factors responsible are thought to be the increasing numbers of elderly people in these countries and postponement of the development of heart failure by the effective treatment of hypertension.
The disappointing results of attempts in the 1970s to find a screening test for lung cancer have not halted research interest in the topic. A review in Thorax (1997;52:107-8) gives some preliminary data from studies of tumour markers in sputum samples; these seem to be able to identify patients with lung cancer a year or so before any clinical symptoms develop. Two conclusions follow: earlier diagnosis may soon be possible, and the burden on the overstretched lung cancer services will increase.
This year is the 100th anniversary of Still's description of chronic joint disease in children. Paediatric rheumatologists now recognise seven syndromes of idiopathic arthritis with an onset before the age of 16 (Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 1997;56:79-82). The new classification is still, however, preliminary–“not finalised, validated, universally acclaimed, or ready for clinical use.”