Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 20 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1984

Routine screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip in cases of both postural and congenital talipes equinovarus deformity is no longer necessary, according to an 11 year prospective longitudinal observational study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (2009;91-B:655-8, doi:10.1302/0301-620X.91B5.22117). The reason given is that developmental dysplasia of the hip is poorly defined, leading to overdiagnosis of what is essentially a “spurious condition.” On the other hand, ultrasound imaging and hip surveillance in babies with congenital talipes calcaneovalgus, and possibly those with metatarsus adductus, should continue.

Could the addition of lithium to drinking water help lower the risk of suicide in the general population? A Japanese study of lithium in tap water helps to elucidate the answer. Lithium concentrations were significantly and negatively associated with standard mortality rate averages for suicide from 2002 to 2006. The authors suggest that even very low levels of lithium in drinking water may have a role in reducing the risk of suicide (British Journal of Psychiatry 2009;194:464-5, doi:10.192/bjp.bp.108.055798).

Another Japanese study looks at the delicate subject of how Japanese families view the disclosure of terminal illness, in this case iatrogenic HIV infection (AIDS Care 2009;21:422-30, doi: …

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