31 e-Letters

published between 2011 and 2014

  • Re: Occupational Asthma guidelines: a systematic quality appraisal using the AGREE II instrument. Authors' response
    Theodore Lytras

    We thank Dr. Nicholson and Prof. Cullinan for their interest in our paper,[1] and welcome the opportunity to respond to their comments and provide clarification.

    We did review the most up-to-date version of all guidelines, including the 2010 version of the BOHRF guidelines. In the "Results" section of our paper, the first column of Table 1 cites the most recent guideline versions published in the peer-reviewed...

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  • Corrections on Asthma Guidelines review
    Paul J Nicholson

    We write to correct errors in the paper Occupational asthma guidelines: a systematic quality appraisal using the AGREE II instrument 1.

    The methodology for this study states that the authors reviewed the most up to date versions of guidelines. While in their Introduction the authors cite (their reference 9) a statement from the 2010 BOHRF systematic review 2; within the Results section it is clear that they a...

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  • Lung cancer risk in coal miners: The need for further investigations
    Judith M Graber

    We thank Dr. Morfeld for his comments on our updated mortality study of the U.S. coal miners study.[1] However, we disagree with his assertion that the excess of lung cancer we observed must be attributed to smoking alone. Firstly, despite the smoking prevalence being higher in our cohort than in the U.S. population in 1970, smokers in our population were significantly less likely to be heavy smokers (> 24 cigarettes...

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  • Lung cancer excess risks after coal mine dust exposure?
    Peter Morfeld

    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest about the updated US coalminer mortality study[1]. The lung cancer SMR was slightly elevated (SMR=1.08, 95% CI: 1.00-1.18). This excess is unexceptionable because of a higher proportion of smokers at the start of follow-up in 1969/1971 (current smokers: 54%) in comparison to the US male population in 1970 (44.1%). Internal analyses showed an association of lung cancer mortality...

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  • Authors' reply to "Three interpretations of an ecological study
    Frank de Vocht

    We thank Dr Idrovo for his thoughts on our paper (1) regarding multilevel approaches to ecological studies (2). We agree with Dr Idrovo that incorporating different levels of aggregation to explore the impact of macro-determinants, or "cultural determinants", would be useful and could, in theory, illuminate important factors beyond causal hypothecation at the individual-level. In our study, however, we were unable to ful...

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  • Obliterative bronchiolitis in workers laying up fiberglass-reinforced plastics with polyester resin and methylethyl ketone peroxide catalyst.
    Yue Leon Guo

    Cullilinan et al [1] reported six obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) cases with plausible correlation with fiberglass-reinforced plastics (FRP) fabrication. Five of them were boat builders and one worked for a cooling- tower manufacturer. Due to the complexity of the FRP-related boat building processes, the exact agent(s) and process causing OB were difficult to determine. The cooling-tower manufacturing had a simpler manufact...

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  • Three interpretations of an ecological study
    Alvaro J. Idrovo

    The very interesting article by de Vocht et al (1) is a good opportunity to discuss possible interpretations of results obtained in ecological studies. The study included 165 nations as observations and found an association between mobile/cellular telecommunications (per 100 people) and brain cancer (national age-adjusted incidence rates). Although in this case authors were interested in the generation of individual-level...

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  • Re:The effect of low cadmium exposure on renal biomarkers
    Ramona Hambach

    The authors want to thank Prof. Dr. Kawada for his interest in our manuscript entitled 'Adverse effects of low occupational cadmium exposure on renal and oxidative stress biomarkers in solderers' [1]. Prof. Kawada recommends performing the multiple linear regression analysis without adjusting for pack-years of smoking. It is known that smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure [2, 3]. However, we want to underline th...

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  • Low solar ultraviolet-B irradiance and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels likely explain the link between nightshift work and ovarian cancer
    William B. Grant

    The finding that nightshift work is linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer1 is one of a long series of studies finding that nightshift work is associated with increased risk of cancer [e.g., Ref. 2]. While reduced production of melatonin is a possible explanation, a better explanation is that since those on night shift sleep during daytime, they spend less time in the sun when they could be making vitamin D. Solar ul...

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  • Re:Environmental tobacco smoke and severe dementia syndromes
    Ruoling Chen

    In Reply,

    Professor Kawada [1] commented on our use of Cox regression for the analysis of cross-sectional data. [2] Although logistic regression is often used to compute a prevalence odds ratio (POR) in cross-sectional studies as an estimate of relative risk (RR), when the outcome is not rare this overestimates the RR, sometimes changing the study conclusion. Cox regression has been suggested instead to estima...

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