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BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E168

From BMJ USA 2002;November:642

Smokers and childless women are known to go through 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 aging. 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;17:2474–2479).

Injury protection strategies can be divided into active and passive prevention measures (seatbelts are active, airbags are passive). A study of crash survivors and the type of restraints used found that belts are clearly superior to bags in preventing thoracic aorta injuries. Bags alone do not influence the incidence of thoracic aorta injuries in frontal collisions, whereas belts prevented them whether or not airbags were used (Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care 2002;53:309–313).

Primo Levi was an Italian chemist who survived a Nazi concentration camp and went on to write about the human condition. A review of a book about him in the Lancet (2002;360:882) says that Levi's works should be commended to all medical students. His prose, says the reviewer, works “like an enzyme on the indigestible truths of the …

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