Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 28 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:584
  1. Christopher Martyn (cmartyn{at}
  1. BMJ
    • Opinions about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are polarised. In the Christmas edition of the BMJ Steven Rose argued that it was little more than diagnostic neologism—an example of the medicalisation of everyday life. G D Kewley, author of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Recognition, Reality and Resolution (LAC Press, £12.50, ISBN 0 9534748 01), on the other hand, has no doubts that it is a medical condition with a biological rather than a social explanation and that people with it benefit from treatment. Whether you agree with him or not, he has certainly succeeded in explaining his views clearly

    • Most clinicians will know from their own experience how new techniques for characterising DNA have improved diagnostic precision in many human genetic diseases. But the social, ethical, and psychological consequences of developments in molecular genetics are only slowly being appreciated. The Troubled Helix: Social and Psychological Implications of the New Human Genetics (T Marteau and MRichards, Cambridge University Press, £18.95, ISBN 0512 58612 7) explores these issues in some depth. First published a couple of years ago, it is now available in paperback.

    • Forty per cent of men over the age of 70 have prostate cancer, but there is still no consensus about how they should best be treated The Treatment of Prostate Cancer—Questions and Answers (Available free from Covent Garden Cancer Research Trust, ISBN 0902166 72 7) has been written for patients and frankly explains the uncertainties and risks associated with different treatments. It is clearly written, and many sufferers should find it helpful both in reaching an informed decision about which treatment to opt for and in knowing what to expect

    • The excretion of small amounts of albumin in urine is associated with increased risk of both renal and cardiovascular disease, especially in patients with diabetes. Microalbuminuria: Biochemistry, Epidemiology and Clinical Practice (P H Winocour and S MMarshall, Cambridge University Press, £37.50, ISBN 0521 45703 3) attempts to summarise the formidably large literature on the subject in a traditional narrative way Diabetologists will be most interested in the chapter on management, although I can't help feeling that a systematic review and meta-analysis of the many small randomised controlled trials might have led to more definite conclusions than those offered by the authors.

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