Lancet 2 Jun 2007 Vol 369

The “senior” medical journals have both published major trials of vaccines against human papillomavirus in the last month, and without pausing for breath the triallists now bring out a combined analysis proving – as we already knew – that the vaccines are likely to lead to a major reduction in cervical neoplasia. Ironically, one result of this will be to reduce even further the cost-effectiveness of cervical screening.

A year ago, I announced with relief that the Stent Wars were over, and that Sirolimus had won. Then Paclitaxel got up and said he was not dead yet. Next came studies which said that both were rubbish in the long term. And now we have a German trial of bioabsorbable magnesium stents showing that they are rubbish in the short term, but perhaps if you combined them with sirolimus or paclitaxel… Oh do stop it boys, and sort it out amongst yourselves. We have better things to read about.

In a world whose future probably depends on co-operation between America and China, it’s nice to see a big meta-analysis combining the forces of Chicago and Beijing. The topic is basic and important: does folic acid supplementation prevent strokes? And the answer is yes, by about 18%. So let’s put it in flour. Or rice.

“Child maltreatment includes physical abuse and neglect, and happens in all countries and cultures.” This paper gives a North American perspective and although it is densely written with few tables and no illustrations, it provides a good summary of what is and isn’t diagnostic of physical abuse in children. An editorial by Harvey Marcovitch and David Jones provides a UK perspective.