eLetters

125 e-Letters

published between 2004 and 2007

  • A plea for the progress of serious thinking about health!
    Clinton E Betts

    Dear Editor,

    I most certainly agree with the “reviewer’ comments” cited by the authors in the text of their paper; “The paper is timely and can be potentially useful for health policy makers” (p. 1032). However, “timely” in this case is a bit of an oddity. In response to a recent critique of progress that I had written (Betts, 2005) a rather noted philosopher, who is kind enough to review scholarly work for me fro...

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  • Re: Re: Local economy and sickness absence
    Marianna Virtanen

    Dear Editor,

    This is a response to the e-letter sent by Dr Wenbin Liang. We appreciate the comments and found them highly valuable.

    Point 1. "The subjects of the study are collected from several geographical clusters, and peoples health in the same hospital could be strongly related....A small flu spreading among staff may affect the incidence of medically certified sickness absence in one local emp...

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  • Geographically based approaches can identify environmental causes of disease, but not if they lack a
    John A Tomenson

    Dear Editor,

    The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has recently published two papers by Knox[1,2] which conclude that “childhood cancers are strongly determined by prenatal or early postnatal exposures to oil based combustion gases especially from engine exhausts. 1,3-butadiene, a known carcinogen, may be directly causal”. This is a strong conclusion for a study whose novel analysis uses only the birth...

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  • Re: Income and the risk of MI
    Wenbin Liang

    Dear Editor,

    This study showed a nice way to estimate income level.[1] However in the paper it stated that there was a 24% changed of the increased risk among unskilled workers after “adjusting for GHI”—(1.55-1.42)/(1.55-1)=0.236, if estimating in the same way, the difference between the lower cut off point of the “CI”—1.24 and the point estimated hazard ratio—1.55 is (1.55-1.24)/0.55=56% of “the increased risk”,(...

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  • Diseases of comfort or coercion?
    Mel Bartley

    Dear Editor,

    The idea that the diseases of the future will increasingly have their aetiological roots in 'comfort' is at first sight an appealing and powerful one. However, to accept this idea uncritically could in fact be part of the problem. Just to take one example for brevity: the idea that everyone desperately wants to confine themselves to moving around in a motor car. I often have arguments with people who cl...

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  • Re: Local economy and sickness absence
    Wenbin Liang

    Dear Editor,

    I agree with the paper that high unemployment rate may have a negative impact on the health of the general population, as sickness absence could be consider as a measure of health.[1] It may worthwhile to further investigate the character of morbidity that associated with economy hardship.

    Nevertheless, the subjects in the paper were “entire staff of 10 towns and 15 public hospitals in 25 s...

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  • Re: Urban area disadvantage and physical activity
    Wenbin Liang

    Dear Editor,

    As a reader, I found the paper[1] interesting, and I hope that the authors could provide extra information. In table 2, there were about one third of participants did not answer their income level in all the three area “SES” strata, However “Occupation” and “Education” may be associated with income level in the same way among all the participants. So the association between “Education”, “Occupation...

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  • GPwSI in Public health: Walsall’s success story
    Anandagiri M Shankar

    Dear Editor

    The article by Bradley & McKelvey (1) calls for integration of primary care and public health through General practitioners with special interests (GPwSI) in public health. The authors seem to suggest that this would be a novel idea for integration of primary care and public health. Although, it may be a new idea elsewhere in the UK, in Walsall this integration is already in place. The people of Wa...

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  • Adjustment for socio-economic status?
    Wenbin Liang

    Dear Editor,

    The study showed a great way to measure socio-economic position based on housing condition and income, and also showed a strong association between socio-economic status and cardiovascular disease mortality among middle age people.[1]

    However, if we remove the effect of smoking, diet pattern, and physical activity level, this association would likely to become weaker, or if the mortality o...

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  • Overinterpretation of the possible effects of health status at baseline on mortality rates
    Marja Y Veenstra

    Dear Editor,

    In their recent article, Jousilahti et al.[1] compare mortality rates among participants and non-participants of population surveys on health in Finland, and report higher mortality rates among male and female non-participants. Since information regarding non-response is usually limited to a few background characteristics available from population registers,[2] the study by Jousilahti et al. is a valuab...

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