RICHARD ALAN MARTIN, M.D.
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To the editor: In the May 1970 issue (Ann Intern Med 72:627-632, 1970) Larson and associates conclude that "heredity and smoking probably contribute about equally to the likelihood of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." This conclusion is a misleading summary of their data:
Although it is true, as the authors state, that "non-smoking relatives and smoking controls had essentially the same prevalence of abnormality" (7/49 and 7/50, respectively), these two subgroups are not comparable with regard to sex; women comprised 76% of non-smoking relatives but only 36% of smoking controls.
There was a remarkable prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
MARTIN RA. Heredity vs Smoking in Chronic Lung Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;73:658–659. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-73-4-658
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(4):658-659.
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