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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 May 19; 334(7602): 1026.
PMCID: PMC1871753
In Brief


Violence in Iraq is blamed for rise in drug abuse among children: Drug abuse among children and young people in Iraq has risen by 20% this year, a survey by local non-governmental organisations shows. Psychological effects of violence and the easy availability of narcotics are blamed for the increase, which is highest among middle class youngsters.

Rare type of cholera is seen in warmer river waters: Dutch doctors are warning of possible further cases of infection with a non-epidemic type of the cholera bacteria Vibrio cholerae after a man in the Netherlands became infected after scrubbing eels caught in the IJsselmeer. Doctors believe that warmer surface water, possibly caused by global warming, is able to sustain the bacteria. Sweden and Germany have reported similar infections.

New project will test IT interventions to improve safety: The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the National Patient Safety Agency are collaborating on a pilot project to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of systems based and computer based interventions to record patients' current drug treatments and also to prevent ventilator associated pneumonia. Safety guidance is expected to be issued in November 2007. (See

US age rating of films will take smoking on screen into account: The Motion Picture Association of America has said that “depictions of smoking in movies will now be a factor when deciding what a film's rating will be.” The ruling means that new movies in the US that contain smoking may be rated R (people aged under 17 will need to be accompanied by an adult) rather than PG-13 (parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children aged under 13).

Rules on promoting baby milk are still being flouted: Almost 1.4 million children are still dying every year because they are not getting enough breast milk, says Save the Children. Twenty five years after a code was introduced to restrict the promotion of substitute milk and food products, all manufacturers continue to violate it in some way, the charity said.

Being treated unfairly increases risk of heart disease: People who feel they have been treated unfairly and who have suffered injustice are at greater risk of heart disease than people who are content with how they have been treated, shows a study of 8000 civil servants who were followed up for 11 years, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (doi: 10.1136/jech.2006.052563).

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