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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. 1 Departments of Epidemiology and Toxicology, Gradient, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Department of Toxicology, Gradient, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3 Department 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 al 1 conducted a meta-analysis of lung function decrements associated with pleural plaques. Several factors indicate that this analysis was inappropriate.

Although Kopylev et al 1 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 al 1 made assumptions and inputted values that may have biased results. Further, …

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  • Funding W R Grace & Co.

  • Competing interests The authors are employed by Gradient, a private environmental consulting firm. This letter was written by the authors with financial support provided by W R Grace & Co, which manufactured asbestos-containing fireproofing and acoustical plasters from 1963 to 1973. The authors have sole responsibility for the writing, content, and conclusions in this letter.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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