eLetters

290 e-Letters

  • Psychosocial factors and Public Health
    John Macleod

    Dear Editor

    Patterns of human health, particularly the inequalities in health associated with inequalities in social position, are not fully explicable in terms of the social distribution of established risk factors. This lack of understanding may hamper initiatives to ameliorate health inequalities – one of the most important contemporary social projects. The significance of these issues is reflected in the amount o...

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  • Are the blind leading the deaf in the globalization debate?
    J Jaime Miranda

    Dear Editor

    In the September 2001 issue of the JECH, the debate section was dedicated to the complex issue of globalisation. The introductory paper by Fran Baum [1] challenges us to “imagine a world in which the spread of globalization meant the world becoming a more just and equitable place.” Baum presents some reasons—raised at the People’s Health Assembly — that globalization has implied the maintenance of globa...

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  • Attributing causality to observed associations between psychosocial exposures and health: a response
    John Macleod

    Dear Editor

    We are glad that our paper has generated interest amongst readers of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

    We would like to respond first to the points made by Drs Singh-Manoux and Clarke. The first relates to the importance of theory and the need for a conceptual framework within which to consider how social disadvantage comes to be associated with poorer health (given that...

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  • Confusing confounding and causation
    A Singh-Manoux
    Dear Editor,

    Macleod et al[1] reported the influence of confounding by socioeconomic factors in observational epidemiology, questioning the role of psychosocial exposures in predicting ill-health. The authors concluded that the association between psychosocial exposures and health reported in the literature might be spurious, a result of the association between socioeconomic position and psychosocial exposures. We read wit...

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  • How does social class get under the skin?
    Hans Bosma

    Dear editor,

    With great interest we read the paper by Macleod and co-workers on the influence of psychosocial exposures on 21-year mortality. According to the authors, the small positive effects of stress on mortality became attenuated after control for social class. From this the authors concluded that the effects of psychosocial factors on health reported in a large number of studies from a number of populations...

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  • Smoking and neurodegenerative diseases
    Mohamed Farouk Allam

    Dear Editor

    Nilsson and his colleagues have assessed the hazards of tobacco smoking among men and women in a Swedish cohort. The authors reported no statistically significant gender differential in relative mortality rates for any of the studied diseases [1]. I have deep concerns about gender differences of smoking-related risks for Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases (the most frequent nuerodegenerative diseases in...

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  • NEW YORK BESIEGED: SEPTEMBER 11TH AND AFTER
    Sally Conover
    Dear Editor

    Epidemiologists all over the world have been good enough to express their concerns and worries about how we, and other friends and colleagues in New York, fared in the terror provoked on September 11 2001. This annotation responds to the editor's invitation that we convey something from our vantage point. We welcomed his interest. The experience is, so far, unique in history. Our account is personal, that of fou...

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  • Where did they belong?
    Vaishali Mona Verma

    Dear Editor,

    I spent six long years in the UK, and following a "Hospital Doctor" report, requested the BMA to provide us with a list of the countries from which the junior doctors who committed suicide between 1991 to 1995 came from. It is felt that severe ill treatment of Indian/other overseas doctors by the NHS, may have led to this. Why are the British Government, the British Health Department, and the BMA...

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  • Revenge is not the answer; leadership could be
    Gavin Mooney
    From a public health perspective, one of the major challenges post 11th September is whether we can build a more caring communitarian world. The signs are not good. Behind the media hype, what comes through is largely a lack of institutional caring. People as individuals still seem to care even if their voices are muted.

    Markets and neo-liberal globalisation serve to create yet greater maldistributions not only of resources...

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  • A new international public health target
    Andrea Campbell

    The tragedy of New York, Washington and Pittsburgh is both immediate and long-term. Immediate in its violent loss and bereavement; the anger, anguish and personal 'what ifs' that will devastate psychological well being over the next few weeks and months. What if she/he had missed the train, woke up late, been on a lower floor, not gone back to their desk, not taken that plane, had a few more seconds...? I breathed a huge...

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