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Bofetta and La Vecchia1, in their commentary, state that ‘The paper by Gilham et al, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is important for a number of methodological and substantive reasons…’.2 In fact, there are methodological and substantive flaws in the paper that call into question the study results and authors' conclusions.2
The authors rely on occupational history as a key point of reference in asbestos exposure assessment. Lifetime occupational history was obtained through telephone interviews of patients with malignant mesothelioma and from general population and lung cancer controls. The implication is that these interviews were conducted directly with study subjects. However, the authors state that informed consent for …
Comment on the original article: Gilham C, Rake C, Burdett G, et al. Pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer risks in relation to occupational history and asbestos lung burden. Occup Environ Med 2015.
Competing interests LCO, LW, ALF and RAL have acted as expert witnesses in asbestos litigation at the request of injured workers, their spouses and others.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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