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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 July; 61(7): 561.
PMCID: PMC2465749

IN THIS ISSUE

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

A warning from India and a reminder that public health is more than medicine and primary healthcare

In this issue K S Jacob, from the Christian Medical College in Vellore, paints a depressing picture of the failure of advancement in public health in India, and identifies various reasons for this to have happened. As India and China join the big hitters in global economic development, it is timely to reflect on the deficiencies of “trickle down” economics, and we might remember that a hundred years of ascendancy in global colonialism left the British industrial classes floundering at the dawn of the 20th century. Concerted public health action with a commitment to equity is surely needed.

See page 562

In another Editorial, linked to a Research Report, Korrick and Bellinger discuss the demonstrated association of both learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder (ADD) with concurrent serum levels of persistent organic pollutants among 12–15 year olds.

See pages 564, 591

In Speaker's Corner, Griffith and his colleagues argue the case for high coverage male circumcision in preventing HIV and AIDS. They dismiss the suggestion that the introduction of a new method of protection will lead to increased sexual licence, and cite as evidence a recent Kenyan study of circumcised and uncircumcised men and the effects of circumcision on sexual behaviour. There is plenty of scope for confounding here, and this new panacea for HIV in Africa may yet follow the classic trajectory of new interventions: from exuberant embrace through disillusionment to a proper appreciation of its role in context.

See page 612

A novel Gallery from Australia points out the creative opportunities in modifying public recreational spaces to provide greater choice and opportunity for promoting health; and in Public Health Past and Present, David Smith explores food panics in history, with special reference to the corned beef outbreak of typhoid in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1964. CPE features a Glossary on the politics of health.

See pages 604, 566, 571

Main findings in our Evidence‐Based Public Health Policy and Practice section this month include:

  • a report on the potential for popular television serials to portray “healthy” behaviours as normal;
  • the value of the administration of hepatitis B vaccine during winter as an important predictor of the low effectiveness of vaccination (in rural Mongolia);
  • findings from Germany that the public readiness for obesity prevention favours that with a focus on individual behaviour change rather than regulation;

See pages 575, 578, 585

And this month's research findings offer the following:

  • in most European countries, socioeconomic inequalities in ill health were an important determinant for entering and maintaining paid employment;
  • from Germany, status inconsistency is associated with the risk of ischaemic heart disease as well as single, traditional indicators of socioecomic position;
  • community care networks have a significant impact on the use of mental health care services;
  • veterans in the general United States population, whether or not they are affiliated with the Veterans Affairs system, are at an increased risk of suicide;
  • intimate partner violence is common for many Pacific couples, and consistent with that reported in other New Zealand groups;
  • low folate levels have been causally linked to depression, and in this paper an association is found between low folate and depression in a review of the literature;
  • an inverse association between Helicobacter pylori colonisation and eczema is found in children without parental disposition to atopic conditions;
  • exposure to specific dietary components or contaminants could contribute to the occurrence or persistence of K‐ras mutations in human exocrine pancreatic cancer.

See pages 597, 605, 613, 619, 625, 631, 638, 641

And, finally, in Theory and Methods an example of the application of uncertainty analysis for estimating a survey proportion.

See page 650


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