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Highlights from this issue
  1. The Triumvirate

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Standing on the shoulders of giants…

In this month’s airwaves, we salute those titans of medicine who have made present day advances in medicine possible.

Back to Black

Almost 40 years ago, the Black Report demonstrated that health inequalities were widespread, despite the fact that healthcare was (and is) free at the point of delivery in the UK. Sir Douglas Black provided evidence that the root cause of these health inequalities was economic: wealthier means healthier. Fast forward to 2019 and this month’s issue of Thorax ( see page 51), where Belot et al explore why some patients with early stage lung cancer have surgery and some do not. They found that comorbidities (congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease and COPD) may explain why some patients do not have surgery. Age and sex also play a role. However, even when these factors are taken into account, individuals who suffer greater levels of deprivation had less chance of receiving surgery for early stage lung cancer. The ‘Inverse Care Law’ (1971) proposed by the late Julian Tudor-Hart still applies.

Eighty years of cystic fibrosis research

Dorothy Andersen, an American pathologist and paediatrician, first described ‘cystic fibrosis of the pancreas’ in 1938. A decade later, she published one of the first reports of the natural history of the disease and the response to treatment (Pediatr 1949; 3 (4): 406–17). In this paper, she describes the microbiological basis …

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