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  1. Wisia Wedzicha, Editor in Chief

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In this issue of Thorax Rippon and colleagues describe a study evaluating how research activity in respiratory medicine relates to disease burden in particular countries. The study was based on 81 419 papers identified between 1996 and 2001. Overall Finland, Canada, Spain, and the UK had the greatest relative commitment to respiratory medicine research (figure). The largest subject areas were asthma, lung cancer, and paediatric lung disease. Sweden and Finland led in asthma research, the Netherlands in COPD, Australia and the UK produced more publications on cystic fibrosis, and Finland and Australia had strong outputs in paediatrics. Generally, the research output of a country correlated poorly with its disease burden. In the UK lung cancer research output was low in relation to mortality from lung cancer. The authors identified some …

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