298 e-Letters

  • Re:Conceptual fallacy
    Annette Erlangsen

    Assumptions beyond the current level of evidence

    We hereby acknowledge the e-letter by Prof. Goran Isacsson (dated 27th October, 2009) to our study on antidepressants and the change of the suicide rate in older adults [1,2]. We indeed appreciate the comment, even as our opinions differ.

    Prof. Isacsson postulates that antidepressants (primarily SSRIs) are accountable - not only for the reduction in sui...

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  • Ethnic differences and HPV Vaccination - an Australian comparison
    Margaret E Heffernan OAM

    Recent findings from a small qualitative study with Australian parents of Aboriginal,Anglo and Chinese backgrounds offered similar findings with key differences and indicate that generalisations cannot be made about ethnic groups globally.The soon to be published data indicates:

    1.Vaccine acceptability - all parents supported HPV vaccination as a cervical cancer preventative but not as a STI preventative.Partia...

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  • Effects of standard adjustment approaches on relative and absolute inequalities
    James Scanlan

    In a 2006 comment [1] on the article by Lynch et al.,[2] I pointed out that the authors’ findings of different contributions of risk factors to relative and absolute inequalities in CHD rates were functions of the fact that the authors studied the effects of the elimination of risk factors rather the effects of adjusting for the implications of differing risk profiles in different education groups. In making this point,...

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  • Conceptual fallacy
    Göran Isacsson

    Erlangsen et al. linked data from an individual-based prescription database in Denmark with data from the cause-of-death register for the two years 1996 and 2000[1]. They found 88 fewer suicides in 2000 than in 1996, 7 fewer among the population that was treated with antidepressants and 81 fewer among the untreated population. Based on “decomposition” analysis of these data, the authors concluded, “Individuals in active tre...

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  • Querying the mathematics of a 74% increase in incidence
    Helen A Kinghorn

    Dear Editor,

    The authors state in their conclusions the incidence of diabetes in the UK between 1997 and 2003 increased from 2.84 to 4.66 per 1000 person- years. I believe these figures represent a 64% increase and not the 74% reported in the article.

  • Cross sectional studies- Odds ratios or prevalence ratios
    Prasanna Samuel

    I read with interest the article by Joshy et al on prevalence of diabetes. The authors aimed at assessing the influence of deprivation on the prevalence of diabetes and have used cross-sectional study design. The authors estimated odds ratios using logistic regression. There are two fundamental interpretative issues in using odds ratio as a measure of association in cross sectional studies.

    The first issue is...

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  • One important confounder missing?
    Inge A Lindseth

    One reason for a higher mortality in abstainers from alcohol could be that they are former heavy drinkers. Streppel et al do not seem to have adjusted for this factor.

    Esben Agerbo

    Dear Editor

    It is a pleasure to read the stringent and thorough study by Andreas Lundin and colleagues on whether the effect of unemployment on mortality is causal or due to health-selection.[1]

    Among other important findings, the authors conclude that “Our study showed that the unemployment–suicide association to a large extent was explained by risk factors measured before exposure to unemployment.” and...

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  • Half a glass of wine/day : 5 years longer life?
    Carlos A Camargo

    Dear Editor,

    The authors state that "Light wine consumption was associated with five years longer life expectancy". Light is defined as drinking 1-20 grams of wine alcohol/day "(on average 6g/day)".

    Alcohol content of wine is measured by volume, not by weight: Since ethyl alcohol specific gravity is .785 g/mL, and the average alcohol content of wine is 11%, 1-20 grams is the equivalent of 14mL - 280mL...

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  • Glaucoma from PC usage
    Michael -

    Dear Editor

    As a PC user this article interests me greatly, as I have noticed my eyesight deteriorating since working 11 hour a day shifts in front of 4 monitors and sometimes also using the computer again after work at home.

    From a lay man's perspective I would like to know more about how different types of screen affect the eyes, and indeed whether the problem may stem simply from levels of artificial...

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