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Compositional data analysis
  1. Lucio Barabesi1,
  2. Pietro Sartorelli2
  1. 1 Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
  2. 2 Department of Medical Biotechnology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Pietro Sartorelli, Department of Medical Biotechnology, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy; pietro.sartorelli{at}

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Recently, Keskitalo et al presented a study focused on the association of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cell differential counts (CDCs) with the smoking habits and the number of asbestos bodies (ABs) in a population of patients with asbestosis.1 They also dealt with the dependence between the survival time of the patients and the BALF CDCs, as well as the number of ABs. However, we have serious concerns about the correctness of the statistical analysis used in the study.

It is crucial to observe that in the article, the BALF CDCs are expressed as percentages, the data having a fixed constant sum constrained to 100. Such kinds of observations are defined …

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  • Contributors LB is responsible for the statistical part. PS wrote the letter and is the corresponding author.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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

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