Intended for healthcare professionals


Asthma link to damp homes and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 29 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2705

“We’ve damp coming down our walls, doctor, and my chest’s never been so bad. Can you do us a note for housing?” Doctors responding to such requests can now cite a good longitudinal study to back them up: the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2013;70:325-31, doi:10.1136/oemed-2012-100963). In the study, 7104 young adults from 13 countries who did not report respiratory symptoms or asthma at baseline were followed prospectively for nine years. There was an excess of new asthma in participants in homes with reports of water damage (relative risk 1.46, 95% confidence interval 1.09 to 1.94) and indoor moulds (1.30, 1.00 to 1.68) at baseline, and a dose-response effect was observed. Dickensian landlords take note.

For decades, the tablets that doctors have given people with osteoarthritis have damaged their upper gastrointestinal tracts, predisposed them to have heart attacks, and made little difference to their pain. What if there was a substance that actually reversed the disease …

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