eLetters

77 e-Letters

published between 2001 and 2004

  • Fibrinogen, social position and "Mendelian randomization"
    Pekka Jousilahti

    Dear Editor

    We appreciate the comments of Macleod and Davey-Smith on our recent article reporting an association between systemic inflammation markers and socio-economic status.[1,2] In their letter, Macleod and Davey-Smith state that our findings, particularly the association of fibrinogen with socio-economic status, and its interpretation is not correct, and runs contrary to the principle of "Mendelian randomisat...

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  • Ethnicity and Prescribing
    Peter A West

    Dear Editor

    My understanding, confirmed by brief review of data on the ONS website, is that the South Asian population in the UK has a younger age distribution than the white population. In this case, would an indicator based on those aged over 35 need further adjustment for the age distribution beyond 35 in order to examine prescribing? Is it possible that we are seeing an age effect in the negative correlation...

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  • Do socioeconomic conditions reflect a high exposure to air pollution or more sensitive health condit
    Laurent Filleul

    Dear Editor,

    We read with great interest the recent paper by Martins et al.[1] concerning the influence of socioeconomic conditions on air pollution adverse health effects in elderly people in Sao Paulo, Brazil. These results are very interesting and may promote understandings of which social category of persons are most sensitive to air pollution. The authors suggest that socioeconomic deprivation represents a...

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  • Immunisation status of Looked After Children
    Brid Farrell

    Dear Editor

    It is important to highlight shortfalls in service delivery to looked after children. However, the provision of information as in the quoted study is seldom enough to change practice.

    In Northern Ireland we have had integrated health and social services since the early 1970s. As part of Children's Services Planning we tagged the records of Looked After Children and compared the immunisation stat...

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  • Use of disposable face masks for public health protection against SARS
    John H. Lange

    Dear Editor

    The paper by Syed et al,[1] provides observations on the use of face masks by members of the public for protection against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV).

    The authors’ raise an important question as to whether masks are effective in preventing disease. The type of masks used can generally be categorized as either surgical or paper and are suggested to off...

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  • The problem with superpowers
    Richard Stephens

    Dear Editor

    I heard this study reported on the Today programme on Radio 4. What effective dissemination! I applaud the inclusion of SES as a covariate in this study, and I agree that the correlational effects reported are of interest. Nevertheless, I believe that one important aspect of the interpretation of the study is omitted from the discussion. This is the small effect sizes.

    In...

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  • Re: Mathematical modeling of SARS: Cautious in all our movements
    Ying-Hen Hsieh

    Dear Editor

    Dr Nishiura [1] accentuated that caution must be exercised in using mathematical models to ascertain the recent SARS epidemics.

    The key issue, as we believe, is to understand the model and its results for what they are and, more importantly, for what they are not. It is especially true with the basic reproductive number R0, or its variant the effective reproductive number at time t Rt, which has bee...

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  • HIA should be prospective
    Carolyn A. Lester

    Dear Editor

    The focus group research by Thomson and colleagues is, as they themselves suggest, not strictly Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Whilst it gives valuable insights into the perceived health impacts on a local community of closing an existing leisure facility, this was not a joint exercise with service providers with a view to lessening any negative impacts.

    To achieve optimum benefits for local re...

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  • Mathematical modeling of SARS: Cautious in all our movements
    Hiroshi Nishiura

    Dear Editor

    Dr Bernard CK Choi and Dr Anita WP Pak recently developed a simple approximate mathematical model to predict the cumulative incidence and death.[1] Although it’s certainly easy to understand and to use as they stated, every users must be cautious about misunderstanding the real applications and evaluations for SARS epidemics. This problem originates in their too rough assumptions.

    Firstly,...

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  • Fibrinogen, social position and risk of heart disease
    John Macleod

    Dear Editor

    The report by Jousilahti and colleagues in the 2003 September's issue of JECH adds to growing evidence of a consistent association between serum inflammatory markers – particularly fibrinogen – and social position. [1-3]

    These authors interpret their data as suggesting that the fibrinogen-social position link is not merely a reflection of the social patterning of prevalent disease, smoking and obesi...

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