Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 05 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1082

Human Genetics Commission recommends freeze on use of test results: The Human Genetics Commission this week recommended to the government that there should be an immediate moratorium on the use of genetic test results by insurance companies for all classes of insurance, and that this should be backed by legislation.

Length of hospital stays fall in United States: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the average length of a hospital stay has declined radically in the United States over the past 20 years, from 7.3 days in 1980 to 5.0 days in 1999. Additionally, the rate of admissions to hospital has dropped nearly 30% in the same period, from 168 per 1000 population to 122.

Institute issues guidance on brain cancer drug: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended that the brain cancer drug temozolomide (Temodal) should be given to suitable patients whose brain tumours have recurred after initial treatment and who have not responded to chemotherapy.

Japan's health scheme is set to be in deficit: One of Japan's largest state organised health insurance schemes is set to face an estimated deficit of £7.3bn ($10.2bn) by 2002. The scheme, which until now has seen surpluses of £2.8-£5.6bn, is experiencing the effects of an ageing population and the high costs of health care, as well as the rising levels of health claims.

Hanging is most common suicide method in young men: Hanging replaced self poisoning from car exhaust fumes as the most common cause of suicide in young men in England and Wales in the second half of the 1990s, a new study has shown. The study, by Dr Mike McClure of the Imperial College School of Medicine, London, showed that self poisoning by car fumes decreased with the introduction of catalytic converters (British Journal of Psychiatry 2001;178: 469-74).

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