BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7565.454 (Published 24 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:454

Chicken or egg? Chronic coughing can cause traumatic inflammation of the airways that, according to a prospective controlled comparative study, mimics the pathological process seen in some diseases that cause cough (Chest 2006;130: 362-70). The researchers advise caution when attributing pathogenic importance to such inflammatory changes, saying their observations refute the conclusions of others that chronic lymphocytic inflammatory changes by themselves support a specific diagnosis.

Teenagers have their own ways of dealing with chronic pain, and boys and girls seem to use distinct coping strategies. Girls develop emotion focused strategies to cope, including social support, positive statements, and catastrophising, whereas boys engage more in problem focused avoidance, such as behavioural distraction. Of all the strategies identified, internalising and catastrophising accounted for the greatest difference between the sexes (Pain 2006;123:275-84).

A trial that randomly allocated newborn babies with a family history of asthma to avoidance of house dust mites or control or dietary modifications or control failed to prevent the onset of asthma or atopy during the first five years of life. Avoidance of house dust mites reduced the allergen concentrations in the child's bed by 61% but had no effect on the prevalence of asthma, wheeze, or atopy (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2006;118: 53-61).

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