PETER L. FROMMER, M.D.; JOEL VERTER, Ph.D.; JANET WITTERS, Ph.D.; WILLIAM CASTELLI, M.D.
To the editor: Taylor and associates (1) use data from the Framingham Heart Study in an attempt to predict the impact of lowering blood cholesterol on life expectancy. They have created a mathematical model we believe is conceptually flawed. The coefficients used estimate 2-year, not long-term, risk. Their approach models temporal trajectories of cholesterol and other risk factors from which they create longitudinal survival data and calculate life expectancy. Unfortunately, to predict the life expectancy of a cohort of 20-year-old persons based on 2-year snippets of risk, the authors must create artificial continuities more than 30 times. Furthermore, instead of
FROMMER PL, VERTER J, WITTERS J, CASTELLI W. Cholesterol Reduction and Life Expectancy. Ann Intern Med. ;108:313–314. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-2-313
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(2):313-314.
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