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Letters Health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption

Authors’ reply to Stockwell and colleagues

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 27 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2294
  1. Paul E Ronksley, doctoral candidate1,
  2. Susan E Brien, postdoctoral fellow1,
  3. Barbara J Turner, professor of medicine2,
  4. Kenneth J Mukamal, associate professor of medicine3,
  5. William A Ghali, scientific director1
  1. 1Institute for Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, AB, Canada, T2N 4Z6
  2. 2University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
  3. 3Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  1. wghali{at}

Stockwell and colleagues adopted an extreme methodological position, proposing to dismiss an entire body of literature on the basis of the presence of predictable limitations in individual studies.1 2 This dogmatic and dichotomous approach to the evaluation of epidemiological studies is counterproductive to scientific epistemology.

Arguably, an alternative means of exploring the impact of specific methodological shortcomings …

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