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BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 09 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1216

Most total hip replacement joints have a polyethylene cup or liner, and this is the component that might be expected to wear. A study of 26 joints removed post mortem (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1996;78A:1193-200) found that after a mean of 91 months the extent of the wear was 0.45 mm; the rate of wear was 0.07 mm a year—less than had been expected from previous research and good news for patients.

Whether enuresis is primary or secondary (occurring after six months of dryness), it gradually becomes less frequent with age. A review in “Mayo Clinic Proceedings” (1996;71:857-62) says that at puberty 2–5% of children are still enuretic, but spontaneous resolution continues through adolescence. Eventually 1.5-3% of adults have intractable enuresis, and in nearly half of these there is a strong genetic element.

More deaths occur in the winter than in the summer in most European countries. This excess winter mortality is twice as high in Britain as in Scandinavia, while in Iceland there is no excess at all (Age and Ageing 1996;25:343-8). The excess in Britain is seen mostly in people over 75 and during cold winters, which suggests that our neighbours in Scandinavia take more …

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