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Is there a promiscuous 10% underlying the epidemic of sexually transmitted disease?
  1. Carlos Álvarez-Dardet,
  2. John R Ashton, Joint Editors

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    In this issue, we ask in an Editorial whether it is worth looking at the pathological tail of the 10% of people who at any one time seem to be involved in frenetic sex. On the surface, this may seem to contradict Geoffrey Rose’s prevention paradox, but there is accumulating evidence that a small percentage of the population make excessive demands on clinical services, and we ask whether a focused approach might help to get upstream of this worrying threat to public health.
 See page 889

    Further Editorials argue the case for more emphasis on the psychosocial work environment (linked to the latest report on the Whitehall II study) and take stock of efforts to rebuild health care in Iraq in the aftermath of the conflict.
 See pages 888, 890

    Levi Tafari’s poem this month focuses on the chemicalisation of our environment.
 See page 893

    In Speakers’ Corner, Luis Castiel, from Brazil, explores the meaning and implications of the contemporary focus on community and lifestyle, while in our Gallery Milne throws the spotlight on William Alison, a pioneer Scottish public health reformer, and Ellaway and Macintyre suggest that increasing the intake of fresh fruit and vegetables may be more difficult in deprived localities (it’s not clear how this observation fits in to recent controversy about the existence or otherwise of food deserts).
 See pages 886, 887, 892

    Two significant contributions this month in Continuing Professional Education: the second part of our Glossary on health inequalities, and a Review of genetics and public health that identifies nine areas of concern about the headlong rush to embrace the new genetics.
 See pages 900, 894

    Main findings from this month’s Research Reports are as follows:

    • From the Republic of Ireland, a study of rural life that shows that material deprivation has a direct influence on both health status and quality of life (although immediate sources of support are relatively well preserved).

    • From Hawaii, evidence from a winter peak of sudden infant death syndrome offers support for the hypothesis that a low grade viral infection may be implicated in vulnerable infants.

    • From America, new evidence that neighbourhood disadvantage is related to rates of cardiovascular death in elderly, white adults.

    • Interesting observations from England on the impact of environmental perceptions on walking (women seem to be more concerned about walking for utility and safety, men are more likely to walk if they have access to a local park but do not seem to be influenced by concerns about safety).

    • From Newcastle upon Tyne, UK an observational study showing the variation in rear seatbelt use according to socioeconomic status.

    • The Whitehall II study, already alluded to, raises new questions about stressors at work relating to organisational justice.

    • A new insight into the impact of violence on events in later life—namely the delayed onset of the perimenopause.

    • Spanish findings of a lower HIV progression in female injecting drug users than in males due to higher uptake of antiretroviral therapy.

    • Finally, evidence from Buffalo, New York of environmental factors in asthma and chronic respiratory illness.

    See pages 904, 912, 917, 924, 929, 931, 938, 944, 951

    A group from England explore the vexed issue of the impact of nursing home deaths on life expectancy calculations in small areas. This issue is a recurrent problem for analysts of vital statistics.
 See page 958

    Nicolai provides an enticing book review for a piece of work that describes a number of environmental catastrophes. This sounds like essential reading for Masters students.
 See page 963

    Hygieia features a number of findings in relation to injuries and accidents.
 See page 964

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