MinervaBMJ 2002; 325 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7365.666 (Published 21 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:666
Beds are a great habitat for house dust mites, so anti-allergic mattress covers in carpet-free rooms might benefit people who have asthma. A randomised, double blind placebo controlled study of 30 patients with house dust mite allergy found a significant reduction in the concentration of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus in dust from the covered mattresses after one year. Unfortunately, such allergen avoidance made no difference to the participants' symptoms and lung function (Thorax 2002;57:784-90)
Smokers and childless women are known to go through the menopause at a younger age than other women. Evidence from a British birth cohort suggests that early life influences also play a part in ovarian ageing. Women of low weight at age 2 years had an earlier menopause, and those who had been breastfed had a later menopause (Human Reproduction 2002,17:2474-9).
The words of the editor of Hospitals and Health Networks (August 2002:8) resonate as deeply in Britain as they do in the United States. One of the great things about being in health care for a long time, she says, is that you get to see everything at least twice—sometimes three or four times. There's the recurrent nursing shortage, too many or too few specialists, and too many beds or not enough. Some issues seem to leave …
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