BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7090.1358 (Published 03 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1358

Eight studies have been reported and 15 more are under way in Europe to investigate the effects on health of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (as found around high voltage power lines). A review in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health (1997;23:5-14) calls for no more studies to be started until a pooled reanalysis has been made of the existing data. At present the results “suggest some support for the hypothesis linking electromagnetic fields with childhood leukaemia.”

Younger patients are sometimes told that their age makes them unsuitable for a hip replacement operation, but a report from the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, gives some encouraging results (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery B 1997;79:240-6). Forty six patients with an average age of 41 had 57 hips replaced by Stanmore hips. The survival rate of the joints was 90% at 10 years and 68% at 15 years, and the authors conclude that total hip replacement is suitable for younger patients provided the prosthesis is known to give reliable results after long term follow up.

Why some people should be carriers of meningococci and others not is unknown, but the incidence of carriage is higher than average in people with genital gonorrhoea. A report in the Journal of …

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