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BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 29 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1376

In early childhood wheezing, ethnic disparities exist that cannot be explained by known risk factors. Over 1000 children in an urban birth cohort participated in a study to evaluate the association of genetic ancestry, as opposed to self identified race, with recurrent wheezing. About 6% had experienced recurrent wheezing and after accounting for socioeconomic status and demographic factors, African ancestry was significantly and independently associated with the condition, but self identified race was not (Clin Exp Allergy 2012;42:265-74, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03873.x).

Four markers of inflammatory status are associated with hearing loss in older people—white blood cell count, neutrophil count, interleukin-6, and C reactive protein. And these factors remain significantly associated after adjusting for age, smoking, history of noise exposure, and male sex. Researchers of the Hertfordshire ageing study say the results are consistent with the possibility that presbycusis results from an inflammatory process that occurs …

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