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In 1929 pearl proposed that tuberculosis protected against the occurrence of cancer because the two diseases were seldom found together at autopsy. He blundered in not recognizing that the expected number of cases of tuberculosis among perons who died from cancer should have been derived from the prevalence of tuberculosis among the living rather than the much higher frequency in the dead. Lesser sources of bias in autopsy studies result from case selection and other factors, but the principal difficulty for those who would avoid Pearl's mistake is to devise believable population estimates for the living when only the dead
The Effects of Various Diseases on the Development of Atherosclerosis.. Ann Intern Med. ;96:405. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-96-3-405_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(3):405.
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