Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Mortality and the pill

Authors’ reply

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 11 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2525
  1. Philip C Hannaford, Grampian Health Board chair of primary care1,
  2. Lisa Iversen, research fellow1,
  3. Tatiana V Macfarlane, senior research fellow2,
  4. Alison M Elliott, senior research fellow1,
  5. Valerie Angus, data manager3,
  6. Amanda J Lee, professor of medical statistics4
  1. 1Centre of Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill Health Centre, Aberdeen AB25 2AY
  2. 2Division of Applied Medicine, University of Aberdeen, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
  3. 3College of Life Sciences and Medicine, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
  4. 4Medical Statistics Team, Section of Population Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
  1. p.hannaford{at}

    Brind thinks that common sense suggests that we should use the smaller, better, dataset when statistical trends differ materially.1 We presented both datasets so that readers can decide which one(s) they wish to use. Neither dataset showed substantial evidence of an increased risk of all cause mortality among ever users.

    A higher proportion of observation periods in ever users related to current and recent pill use in the general practice observation dataset …

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