RICHARD WASNICH, M.D.; PHILIP Ross, Ph.D.
To the editor: The technical limitations of bone mass measurements, and their potential misuse, are discussed by Dr. Ott in her editorial (1). However, two important scientific issues have not been fully addressed.
The first issue involves Dr. Ott's proposed use of Bayes' theorem for the analysis of fractures and bone mineral content. Because bone mineral content, like blood pressure, is a continuous variable, the use of Bayesian analysis is not appropriate (2). Although Bayes' theorem is very useful for determining the diagnostic utility of a test, the potential utility of bone mineral content measurements is not for the diagnosis
WASNICH R, Ross P. Screening Bone Mass Measurements. Ann Intern Med. ;105:974–975. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-105-6-974_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1986;105(6):974-975.
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