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Comment on “A systematic review of the association between pleural plaques and changes in lung function” by Kopylev et al (2014)
  1. Julie E Goodman1,
  2. Laura E Kerper2,
  3. Ke Zu3,
  4. Heather N Lynch2,
  5. Ge Tao2
  1. 1Departments of Epidemiology and Toxicology, Gradient, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Toxicology, Gradient, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, Gradient, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Julie E Goodman, Gradient, 20 University Road, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; jgoodman{at}

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Kopylev et al1 conducted a meta-analysis of lung function decrements associated with pleural plaques. Several factors indicate that this analysis was inappropriate.

Although Kopylev et al1 considered study quality, they did not conduct a formal risk-of-bias analysis. Also, several studies did not provide data needed to calculate mean differences and SEs of lung function parameters. For these missing data, Kopylev et al1 made assumptions and inputted values that may have biased results. Further, …

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