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Highlights from this issue
  1. The Triumvirate
  1. Lane Fox Respiratory Service, Guy’s & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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Ancient greenwich pensioners

In his novel ‘Bleak House’ Dickens describes: ‘…the ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards However, the paper by Debbie Jarvis and colleagues in this month’s journal suggests that the pensioners of Britain have wheezed progressively less over the last 20 years ( see page 37 ). So too have the pensioners of 27 other European countries as well as those in Australia. This epidemiological study describes the results of three questionnaire surveys, administered over a 20 year period and finds that the 12 month prevalence of wheeze fell by 2.4% over 20 years. The authors attribute the improvement in respiratory symptoms to a reduction in smoking by these elderly study participants. Dickens would have blamed the fog and ‘…the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city’.

MRI: from nottingham to north carolina

Sir Peter Mansfield (Professor of Physics in Nottingham) was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his work on MRI imaging. MRI depends of the magnetic qualities of water molecules and so he might not have predicted that MRI would be used to image a gas filled organ such as the lung. In this issue, Wang et al, from North Carolina, describe the use of Xenon MRI to image idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) ( see page 21 ). Intriguingly, …

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