Minerva: November 2002
Beds are a great habitat for house dust mites, so anti-allergic mattress covers in carpet free rooms might benefit people who have asthma. A randomised, double blind placebo controlled study of 30 patients with house dust mite allergy found a significant reduction in the concentration of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus in dust from the covered mattresses after one year. Unfortunately, such allergen avoidance made no difference to the participants symptoms and lung function (Thorax 2002;57:784-90).
Smokers and childless women are known to go through the menopause at a younger age than other women. Evidence from a British birth cohort suggests that early life influences also play a role in ovarian ageing. Women of low weight at age 2 years had an earlier menopause, and those who had been breast fed had a later menopause (Human Reproduction 2002,17:2474-9).
Injury protection strategies can be divided into active and passive prevention measures (seatbelts are active,