42BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7329.121/a (Published 12 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:121
- Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care
- University College London
In Douglas Adams' The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to life, the universe, and just about everything else is 42.
Forty two is certainly the answer to more questions than any other number. What is the maximum age at which you can still claim to be young? When do you start to be old (or, at least, time expired)? When does a woman still have a fighting chance of starting a family? When can anyone respectably admit to being …