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Misleading meta-analysis

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 11 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1303
  1. M R Law,
  2. N J Wald
  1. Reader Professor Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, London EC1M 6BQ

    One incorrect meta-analysis does not invalidate them all

    EDITOR,--Guilt by association is dangerous practice in medicine as in law, yet James Le Fanu seeks to discredit the results of all meta-analyses1 because of the incorrect result of one: small trials of intravenous magnesium in acute myocardial infarction suggested an effect not confirmed by a large trial.2 The misleading suggestion was probably due to publication bias.2 Meta-analyses are not immune to error and must be evaluated as critically as individual studies.

    Le Fanu considers that …

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