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Crude rates, without standardisation for age, are always misleading

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 15 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:475
  1. Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe
  1. Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY

    EDITOR—Ten years ago the National Audit Office published a report that attributed the highest coronary mortality in Europe to Sweden.1 The BMJ published a letter that I wrote pointing out that the National Audit Office had committed the error of failing to standardise for age2: the Swedes were an ageing population, but after correction for age their coronary mortality was unremarkable. Later …

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