A.M. PARFITT, M.D.
To the editor: The recent discussion on hypertrophic subaortic stenosis and hypercalcemia is a good example of the confusion generated by misuse of the word "association" in medical writing. In the technical statistical sense association can be manifested only in a population, not in an individual case. To denote the presence in a single patient of two diseases it is better to use the term "coexistence" or "concurrence." Several instances of concurrence of hypertrophic subaortic stenosis and hypercalcemia were reported (1, 2), for which a reasonable physiologic explanation was given (3). As yet there is no evidence for an association
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PARFITT A. "Association" Misused. Ann Intern Med. 1978;89:579–580. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-4-579_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(4):579-580.
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