1238 e-Letters

  • Response to "Specificity and sensitivity of transcranial sonography of the substantia nigra in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease: prospective cohort study in 196 patients"
    Philipp Mahlknecht

    The study by Bouwmans and colleagues seems to be well designed and thoroughly executed [1], but the primary results are surprising regarding both the transcranial sonography (TCS) and dopamine transporters - single- photon emission computed tomography (DAT-SPECT) results. According to large scale prospective studies, DAT-SPECT should have a specificity close to 100% in differentiating neurodegenerative parkinsonian syndrom...

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  • Complementary and alternative asthma treatments and their association with asthma control: a population-based study: Letter to Editor
    Simran Kaur

    The use of complementary and alternative treatment in asthmatic patients was very well described by Chen et al. It is indeed a good piece of research wherein relationship of different types of CAM is done with asthma severity and treatment by conventional medications. However, it is also important to estimate the therapeutic-toxicologic safety profile (risk-benefit ratio) of various CAM interventions for asthma 1. Also,...

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  • Differences between RCTs and observational studies of hormone therapy effects have not been definitely reconciled
    Arthur J Hartz

    Rossouw et al. addressed only the comparisons of results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies (OSs). They did not consider analyses that compared outcomes of participants who had the same treatment but were in different studies. These analyses found that adjusting for the WHI risk factors was not sufficient to account for unmeasured risk differences between subjects in different studies. T...

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  • The mortality and cancer experience of New Zealand Vietnam war veterans: a cohort study
    Rex Barron


    The Maori population of New Zealand was about 12% at the time of the Vietnam war. The New Zealand Vietnam veterans have a Maori participation of 30%+ over double the percentage of Maori in the general population.

    Statistics NZ tell us that Maori males die at twice the rate of Caucasians, mainly cancers, diabetes and heart attacks. By their late fifties Maori male mortality is two and a half time...

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  • Family Links response to; Effectiveness and cost effectivenesss of a universal parenting skills programme in deprived communities: multicentre randomised controlled trial - Simkiss et al.
    Annette Mountford

    Family Links, is a charity responsible for developing the Nurturing Programme and training practitioners in the UK. We welcomed the opportunity to be one of the very few widely used parenting programmes in the UK to undergo an RCT, although our involvement was for the most part indirect. The study was conducted independently in South Wales' communities by Simkiss and colleagues and was unusual in that the programme was...

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  • Re:Data from HSCIC: if the article needed correction of the underlying data, should the authors review the conclusions reached?
    Evan Kontopantelis

    We appreciate the interest in the paper and the further criticisms.

    In the London SHA there were 1,504 practices in 2010/11, not 463 (plus we never reported such a number). 24 of these were using SystmOne, giving it a market share of approximately 1.6%.

    We can't find evidence of the data corruption you suggest. As explained before, the correction related to a table label and was purely of a descriptive...

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  • Data from HSCIC: if the article needed correction of the underlying data, should the authors review the conclusions reached?
    Mary Hawking

    I have now received the tables provided to Manchester University by HSCIC listing GP practice systems by SHA and PCT dated April 2011 and market share dated May 2013.

    In the practice GP practice table, there are 463 practices listed in London SHA.

    Of these 10 are listed as using TPP SystmOne - 8 in Hounslow and 2 in Hillingdon.

    This suggests that the data in the table regarding system distrib...

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  • Kenyan comparison
    Alexander R Gibson

    We read the well-presented article by Griffiths et al.(1) published recently in BMJ Open with much interest. This paper supports the general consensus that children in the United Kingdom (and incidentally throughout the developed world) are not sufficiently active with potential detrimental short- and long-term health effects. The data presented are particularly sobering in light of our recently published research carried...

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  • Reply to "Incomplete examinations are irrelevant and all too frequent."
    Morten Schmidt

    Dear Editor: Thank you for the opportunity to reply to Archer and Blair's letter regarding our study of the association between obesity as a young adult and subsequent occurrence of diabetes, cardiovascular morbidity, and death [1]. We are concerned that Archer and Blair have mixed up concepts of effect measure modification and confounding in their critique of our work [2].

    Archer and Blair label physical activ...

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  • Communication skills of the provider and percieved quality of the recepient
    Udaya S Mishra

    While this exercise belong to the routine format of such evaluations, it has some significance as it assumes that perceptions of quality is largely influenced by the doctor-patient interaction. There could be an improvement in the communication skill of the providers following a training which may not have translated into practice as revealed by the recipient perception of quality. Hence this exercise hints towards accom...

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