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UK travellers are contracting more serious form of malaria: Figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 1758 cases of malaria in UK people who went abroad in 2006, eight of which were fatal. Although the number of UK people contracting malaria has remained stable over the past 20 years, the proportion of cases caused by the more dangerous Plasmodium falciparum species has risen to 79% from 40% in 1987.
Immigrants in the Netherlands are the most likely to be uninsured: Nearly 250000 Dutch people, including 40000 children, have no medical insurance, figures from Statistics Netherlands show. Children fall through the insurance net because their parents have no cover. The rate of non-coverage among immigrants from Turkey, Morocco, and Surinam is five times that among native Dutch people (www.cbs.nl).
WHO launches new clinical trials portal: The World Health Organization has launched a new website offering access to several high quality registers of clinical trials (www.who.int/trialsearch). The registers providing data to the portal are all members of WHO's network of collaborating clinical trial registers, which sets out standards for supplying data and will also provide a forum for registers to exchange information and establish best practice.
“Postcode lottery” is rife in English plastic surgery, survey shows: Only 11 NHS trusts in England are accurately following national guidelines for bilateral breast reduction surgery. Findings from 245 out of 303 trusts in England that responded to a survey show that many included restricting criteria not in the NHS guidelines for a type of surgery that is often considered cosmetic and thus rationed. “The so-called postcode lottery of healthcare in the UK is rife within plastic surgery,” the researchers write in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery (doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.03.002).
“Cigarette” sweets increase risk of smoking: A study of 25887 US adults shows that the odds of smoking for those who ate candy cigarettes as children was 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.8 to 2.2) for current and former smokers and 1.8 (1.6 to 2.1) for current smokers, compared with those who had not eaten them as children. “Elimination of candy cigarettes may protect children from products that promote the social acceptability of smoking,” say the researchers (Preventive Medicine doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.04.006).