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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 December; 61(12): 1017.
PMCID: PMC2465669


Monitoring Editor: Carlos Alvarez‐Dardet and John Ashton, Joint Editors

Something old, something new

In this issue, no one theme dominates and it's something of a mixed bag. Something new on the block is the clearance of human papillomavirus vaccine for use in the prevention of cervical cancer. This innovation should dramatically reduce the toll of death from cervical cancer if fully implemented. Fortunately, concerns that religious objections might prevent the administration of the vaccine to adolescent school girls seem to be receding, and rapid progress may well be made. Something old in Gallery is the low technology of glue sniffing, which was once high profile in public health but now seems to be off the radar, while still an issue in some areas.

See pages 1018 and 1037

In Public Health Past and Present, Cohen et al review the literature on the social epidemiology of infectious diseases and conclude that there is a need for increased dialogue and collaboration between infectious disease epidemiologists and social epidemiologists. In Continuing Professional Education, we publish the second part of a systematic review of the psychosocial and health effects of workplace reorganisation, with the suggestion that it is such changes that increase demand or decrease control that adversely affect the health of employees.

See pages 1021 and 1028

Main findings in Evidence‐Based Public Health Policy and Practice this month are:

  • that income redistribution is not enough to reduce difference in health across social classes, and universal social programmes are critical to reducing inequities in health;
  • from Amsterdam, the finding that neighbourhood‐level psychosocial stressors are associated with self‐rated health;
  • from Cork, the conclusion that the highest rates of hospital‐treated deliberate self‐harm are in deprived urban areas, and that priority should be given to these areas when implementing community‐based interventions aimed at reducing suicidal behaviour;
  • from Canada, the recommendation that differences in the ranking of individual risks and population‐attributable fractions for different diseases and outcomes need to be taken into account when setting priorities, as interventions may need to be targeted differently;
  • and from Belgium, a study of end‐of‐life decision‐making suggests that the care setting affects people's options.

See pages 1038, 1042, 1050, 1056 and 1062

Research Reports this month include:

  • a systematic review of the foetal effects of pre‐natal binge drinking, which failed to find convincing evidence of adverse effect—except possibly on neurodevelopmental outcomes;
  • a consistent pattern of racial inequity in the spatial distribution of all types of air pollution sources examined in Florida;
  • that children's use of dental services decreased significantly in four of the five Nordic countries between the mid‐1980s and mid‐1990s;
  • in a British study of adults aged 18 to 90 years, 11.4% had marginal or inadequate health literacy;
  • patients with low‐income compared with high‐income less frequently initiated preventive treatment after acute myocardial infarction, had worse long‐term persistence with statins, but tended to have better persistence with beta‐blockers.

See pages 1069, 1074, 1080, 1086 and 1091

And finally, in Theory and Methods, Bambra explores the typologies of welfare capitalism and concludes that new avenues of study in public health could be explored by drawing upon a broader welfare state regimes literature.

See page 1098

Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group