CARL W. ARMSTRONG, M.D.; SCOTT F. WETTERHALL, M.D.
To the editor: We have several reservations about the methods and statistical inferences reported in two recent papers on Epstein-Barr virus infection (1, 2). Both papers failed to describe the population groups from which controls were selected.
Although Jones and colleagues (1) matched controls for age, other demographic variables, such as socio-economic status, are known to affect the age-adjusted incidence of Epstein-Barr virus infection (3). Even if only seropositive controls had been used, mean antibody titers may have differed between patients and controls if the controls had acquired the infection at an earlier mean age. Figure 1 in the paper
ARMSTRONG CW, WETTERHALL SF. Epstein-Barr Virus and Unexplained Illness. Ann Intern Med. ;102:722–723. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-102-5-722_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(5):722-723.
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