77 e-Letters

published between 2001 and 2004

  • No place for modesty
    Charles R Douglas

    Dear Editor

    “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him....But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, "We did it ourselves.”

    Clearly John Ashton’s aphorism mirrors Lao Tzu’s thoughts on leadership, and is thus hard to argue against. However I think public health practitioner...

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  • Re: Social Epidemiology, Intra-Neighbourhood Correlation and Generalized Estimating Equations
    Juan Merlo

    Dear Editor

    I have read with high interest the comments made by Petronis and Anthony on my editorial.[1] I have also read their forthcoming article,[2] and I believe they apply an analytical approach that seems to be, in my opinion, a step in the right direction for research on contextual influences and health that focus on investigation of clustering. I will be very pleased of writing a larger comment and send i...

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  • Epidemiology of SARS - the missing pathogen?
    Robert A Frizzell
    Dear Editor

    This is indeed a strange disease. The epidemiology suggests it to be of relatively low infectivity, but high severity.This in itself is odd, especially if the causative agent is a virus and the principal mode of spread by coughing/droplet.Also odd is the undoubted existence of "superspreaders", who can infect very many of their contacts - I can't think of any parallels to this in respiratory virology....

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  • Authors reply
    Nina S Godtfredsen

    We appreciate the comments from Cope et al on our paper reporting the association between smoking cessation and smoking reduction and subsequent risk of myocardial infarction (1). Specifically, Cope et al propose that the lack of a beneficial effect of reduced smoking - in contrast to smoking cessation - could be due to inaccuracy (underreporting) of the self-reported tobacco consumption. In addition, Cope et al raise the...

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  • Social Epidemiology, Intra-Neighbourhood Correlation and Generalized Estimating Equations
    Kenneth R. Petronis

    Dear Editor,

    The recent editorial entitled "Multilevel analytical approaches in social epidemiology: measures of health variation compared with traditional measures of association" [1] offers an interesting critique of the generalized estimating equations (GEE) analysis of a paper published in the same issue of JECH (August 2003). In the editorial, the author notes that the paper's GEE analysis treats "the intr...

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  • Smoking verification and the risk of myocardial infarction
    Graham F. Cope

    Dear Editor

    We read the paper by Godtfredsen et al. with interest.[1]

    The paper reported on the effect of smoking reduction on the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) and found that although patients who stopped smoking had a decreased risk of MI, those who reportedly reduced their smoking did not. The conclusions drawn were that smoking reduction, rather than complete cessation, did not produce...

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  • Prevalence of IHD and associated risk factors
    Jeremy P Gray

    Dear Editor

    I noted with interest the article by Unal et al.[1] and wondered whether they had seen our population-based study describing the prevalence of IHD in what is now Wandsworth PCT.[2]

    We describe 6776 IHD patients in detail from a total population of 378,021 and address many of the issues Unal et al.[1] raise in their paper. We are about to collect a second round of data and will be taking...

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  • Previous trials were identified
    Phil Edwards

    Dear Editor

    Morrison et al. examine the effect on questionnaire response of feeding back research findings to participants.[1] As authors of the systematic review [2] cited in their paper we would like to point out that we had in fact identified eight such randomized trials.[3-10] The broad strategy under which these trials had been classified in our review was ‘non monetary incentives’.

    We are curren...

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  • Health, equity, human rights and the invasion of Iraq
    Paula Braveman

    During the days culminating in the US-British invasion of Iraq, I was working with a human rights attorney colleague, exploring links and distinctions between health, equity, and human rights. These concepts thus have been in my thoughts, and concern for each leads me to deplore the invasion of Iraq on several counts.

    First, given the scale of suffering and death that inevitably accompany war, it is unconscionable to...

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  • About George W. Bush's Iraq War
    Mervyn Susser

    I can make no pretence to pacifism. It was out of conviction that, a mere 18 years old in my native South Africa, I volunteered for service in World War II. And for the next five years I chose to serve in three successive services and on three successive fronts of the war. Nor have I ever regretted doing so, nor questioned that it was a right and necessary thing to do. That is to say, I believed then and believe now that there...

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