301 e-Letters

  • SEP, Increased Incidence of Brain Cancer, and Potential Role of Mobile Phone Usage.
    Sarah J Scott

    In relation to the reported findings in this study of a correlation between higher socioeconomic position and incidence of brain tumour, specifically giloma and acoustic neuroma, among a cohort of Swedish-born residents, the authors postulate 'completeness of cancer registration' and 'detection bias' as a potential explanation.

    This seems unlikely, especially given the progressive nature of brain tumour pathology...

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  • Hepatitis C elimination by 2030 is feasible in developed countries but challenging in resource poor developing countries
    Gee Yen Shin

    The World Health Organisation's setting of global viral hepatitis elimination targets, focused on hepatitis B & C, is most welcome1. In their commentary article, Hellard, Sacks-Davis & Doyle describe strategies by which hepatitis C elimination by 2030 can be achieved by a combination of direct acting antiviral drugs against hepatitis C, opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programmes...

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  • Working longer, working better?
    Alexis Descatha
    Sir, We have read with particular interest the paper by Wu C. et al. on the association of retirement age with mortality among older adults in a large US study.[1] We need deeper understanding of the association found between a 1-year age increment in the 2,956 participants and an 11% lower risk of all-cause mortality (95% confidence interval 8-15%). The authors conclude that "early retirement may be a risk factor for mortality a...
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  • A missed opportunity? Fluoridation and hypothyroidism - correlation or causation.
    Douglas W Cross

    The analysis of data on the prevalence of hypothyroidism in areas with different concentrations of fluoride in the public drinking water supplies, by workers at the University of Kent,[1] is interesting but by no means conclusive. The authors rightly emphasise that their findings do not prove that fluoridation causes people to develop the condition,but only that there is a clear correlation. In fact this study raises m...

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  • Measuring the impact of green space interventions in deprived neighbourhoods on physical activity and health
    Karine Bernard

    Droomers et al. examined the association between green space interventions in Dutch deprived neighborhoods and short-term impacts on physical activity (PA) and perceived general health (PGH) among adults. The authors reported an absence of short-term positive effects on PA and health from improvements in green space in deprived neighbourhoods.[1]

    The authors made significant efforts to control for the clusterin...

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  • Early life social conditions and adult cancers: a fundamental research question
    Michelle Kelly-Irving

    We commend the authors for taking the hypothesis that cancer may have its roots in early life social conditions seriously [1]. Social inequalities exist for many cancer types and are usually attributed to differences in lifestyles and behaviours. Thus, attempts at primary prevention are often confined to relatively proximal disease risk factors at the individual level.

    Cancer development has mainly been conside...

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  • Response to: Ribeiro, et al. "Where do people live longer and shorter lives? An ecological study of old-age survival across 4404 small areas from 18 European countries"
    Katharine Timpson

    Ribeiro and colleagues' identify high mortality rates at older ages in the post-industrial UK areas of Merseyside and West Central Scotland (WCS). They suggest that poverty and a lack of social cohesion may be part of the explanation for this finding (1). Merseyside and WCS are characterised by wide intra-regional variation in mortality rates compared to other deindustrialised areas across Europe, possibly reflecting grea...

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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.


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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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  • 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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