Left handedness and breast cancer

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7523.1024-a (Published 27 October 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1024

Authors' reply

  1. Cuno S P M Uiterwaal, assistant professor of clinical epidemiology (c.s.p.m.uiterwaal@umcutrecht.nl),
  2. Diederick E Grobbee, professor of clinical epidemiology
  1. Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, Netherlands

    EDITOR—We did not first find an association and only then start speculating about mechanisms. As clearly indicated in our paper, first came a hypothesis about influences in the womb, including exposure to steroids, and breast cancer risk.1 Like the group that proposed this hypothesis,2 we used handedness as a putative marker for such early life influences. As we did find an association which is obviously not directly causal, we subsequently speculated that the original hypothesis might underlie it.

    Speculations are different from conclusions. We speculated that our findings may support other …

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